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Ogden mayor tackles burglary suspect

Matthew Godfrey
Matthew Godfrey

Ogden Mayor Matthew Godfrey tackled a suspected burglar who tried to break into his home and stole a bicycle from his shed.

Police said the break-in happened at 2:56 a.m. today, when the mayor and his wife were awakened by a noise outside their home.

"We heard somebody trying to come in our side door, so I jumped out of bed and tried to see who it was," Godfrey told the Deseret Morning News. "Then I heard somebody at the back door."

As Godfrey went to check on his children, his wife glanced outside the home and saw a man leaving their shed with a bicycle.

"I just ran right the side doors and he was heading across the front lawn riding a bike of ours," the mayor said. "I ran him down and tackled him, wrestled him and put him in a headlock."

Godfrey's wife called 911. Ogden police officers arrived to see the mayor holding on to the suspected burglar.

"I guess I feel like it's part of my job getting the bad guys off the street," Godfrey chuckled.

The mayor sustained a slight scratch on the back of his neck, police said, but he did not need any medical attention. Police arrested a 20-year-old man, but do not believe he was targeting the mayor.

"The guy was intoxicated and he claimed to the officers that he was looking for something to ride," Ogden Police Lt. Scott Sangberg said.

The suspected burglar lives only a half-block away from the mayor's house in the 2500 block of Tyler Avenue. Godfrey said he didn't learn that until police arrived and questioned the man.

"He's from a family that we know and love and respect. They're good friends of ours and they just have a wayward child," the mayor said. "I taught this young man in church."

Sangberg said officers booked Curtis Poorman, 20, into the Weber County Jail on investigation of burglary, robbery, possession of marijuana, illegal consumption of alcohol and public intoxication. Police said Poorman also has a prior burglary conviction.

Godfrey, who has made reducing crime in Ogden an issue in his re-election campaign, said what happened to him is an example of why neighborhood watches are so important.

"People just being vigilant, making a stand, is part of the reason why we've had such huge reductions in crime," he said.

Asked if it was wise to take on a suspected criminal in an early morning break-in, Godfrey said he would encourage others to let the police handle it.

"Dial 911," he said.