Agg assault suspect jumps in river to avoid police, is arrested

CASPER, Wyo. —  Casper Police have arrested a man on recommended charges of Aggravated Assault and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon, after an investigation into an incident where the suspect was accused of brandishing a rifle.

30-year-old Seth T Blackburn was arrested on August 6, 2019 and had the Aggravated Assault and Felon in Possession of a Firearm charges recommended on August 14.

Police say that on August 6, 2019 they were dispatched to a liquor store on the 600 block of North Poplar Street for a reported shoplifting. Employees from the store said that a woman had left with a half-gallon of Fireball Whiskey that was not paid for.

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The female had left in four-door truck.

Witnesses tell officers that an acquaintance of the store employees had followed the truck in an attempt to get identifying information on the vehicle. After catching up with the truck, it was reported that the driver stopped, and the acquaintance asked the occupants to return the bottle of Fireball.

Witnesses on the scene and the acquaintance said that a man matching Blackburn’s description exited the vehicle and pointed a rifle at the acquaintance. The acquaintance then reported leaving the area.

Later the afternoon of August 6, police were called for a welfare check on a male who was observed sleeping near the North Platte River.

Officers report arriving in the area and observed the male, identified later as Blackburn, begin walking away from police and jumping into the river.

Officers followed the suspect along the riverbank, as the suspect reportedly attempted to swim down the river.

Police say that Blackburn eventually got out of the water and advised that he had jumped into the river because he did not like police.

Blackburn was found to have outstanding warrants for his arrest and was taken into custody.

Officers note that Blackburn matched the description of the male who had brandished a rifle, following the shoplifting incident.

The following day a black four-door pickup was located in a parking lot on the 1700 block of East K Street. Police identified the vehicle as matching the description of the vehicle involved in the firearms incident. An SKS rifle was observed sitting in the passenger seat.

The truck was sealed and towed for evidentiary reasons, according to an affidavit from Casper Police.

The truck was reportedly within walking distance of where Blackburn was located.

During investigation into Blackburn’s history, showed a 2008 charge of Aggravated Assault involving a firearm. Police say that Blackburn had plead guilty in that case.

Police say that when questioned about the incident, Blackburn denied being involved in any conflict. 

The female suspect in the shoplifting, who was reportedly in the truck during the firearm incident, has not been contacted by law enforcement.

All of those cited or arrested are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law. Charges are subject to change following official filings from the Natrona County District Attorney’s Office.