A Utah man has been jailed after he allegedly assaulted his grandparents while high on fumes from canned air.
St. George police say they received a report on Sunday at about 8 p.m. that a 23-year-old man with a “psychiatric problem” was attacking and threatening to kill his grandparents.
The grandmother told police that when she asked the suspect — who had been renting a room in the home for about two weeks — to stop his loud cursing, he began attacking both her and her husband. The suspect kicked his grandfather to the ground and continued to kick him in the face and abdomen.
He then chased his grandmother outside and attacked her, injuring her arms and breaking her nose. Both grandparents said their grandson told them repeatedly he would kill them — that he had a gun and he would use it.
The grandfather was taken to the hospital, suffering apparent internal bleeding, according to medical personnel. Police wrote in a probable cause statement that the grandfather is not expected to recover from his injuries; he remained hospitalized on Tuesday morning.
When police searched the suspect’s room, they found two empty cans and unused cans of canned air, used for cleaning surfaces and electronic equipment. The cleaner contains difluoroethane, which — according to American Addiction Centers — can cause “an immediate rush of euphoria as well as possible hallucinations and delusions,” along with “loss of inhibitions” and “inability to make sound decisions.”
When the suspect was interviewed by police, he told them he intended to kill his grandfather, according to a probable cause statement, and that he only stopped his attack because he believed his grandfather was dead. The suspect said he saw his grandfather attack his grandmother with a shard of glass, but police wrote that they found no evidence of that.
According to police, after the grandmother was interviewed, she “began to uncontrollably sob. I could only make out that she feared [the suspect] returning to their home.”
The suspect’s father told police his son has a “history of abusing inhalants,” and that he believed the suspect had used them on Sunday. “He stated that [the suspect] has become too volatile, and that he didn’t think it would be safe for [him] to come back home until he’s had more treatment,” police wrote in a probable cause statement.
The suspect was booked into the Washington County jail for investigation of several charges, including aggravated assault, use of psychotoxic chemicals, interfering with and assaulting a police officer, making threats and criminal mischief. He is being held without bail, pending formal charges.
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been charged.
Utah man allegedly assaults his grandparents after huffing canned air /p>