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Cops: Man swinging hatchet used wheelchair to bulldoze into apartment


By Brian West

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    SALT LAKE CITY (KSL) — A Salt Lake man was arrested Saturday after police say he used his wheelchair as a bulldozer to break into his estranged wife’s apartment while swinging a hatchet.

Juan Munguia, 56, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated burglary and two counts of aggravated assault.

Saturday evening, Munguia used a hatchet to try to gain entry into his estranged wife’s apartment near 2000 South and 200 East, according to a police booking affidavit. When the homeowner opened the door to see what was happening, Munguia used his “400-pound battery-powered wheelchair as a bulldozer to force the door open and to push his way into the apartment.”

The resident and his “legal cohabitant wife” tried to keep Munguia from forcing his way inside, but they could not close the door nor move the wheelchair, the affidavit states, adding that it all occurred while Munguia was swinging a hatchet at them and saying, “I’ll kill you.”

“One of the victims sustained injuries during the aggravated assault while attempting to disarm (Munguia) of his hatchet,” the affidavit says. “The altercation only stopped when (Munguia) was disarmed, subdued and the joystick was used … to reverse the wheelchair out of the apartment.”

Police reported seeing evidence of “multiple hatchet strikes” and damaged drywall “reportedly caused by the bulldozing wheelchair.”

Officers located Munguia, who lives in the same complex, and he said he went to the apartment to collect a debt from his estranged wife “and brought the hatchet because it was a family heirloom that belongs to her and he wanted to show it to her,” according to the affidavit. Police say he had no answer when asked about the chop marks on the door or how he was inside the apartment.

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