OGDEN — Sheriff’s deputies on Monday arrested a Draper man in connection with a February shoplifting incident in which he allegedly punched a store employee in the face and knocked down and almost ran over two pursuers.
The Weber County Sheriff’s Office arrested Joshua W. Denning, 39, at his home on suspicion of first-degree felony aggravated robbery and two counts of third-degree felony aggravated assault.
An arrest affidavit chronicled the investigation into the Feb. 26 incident at a Weber County store, which was not identified in the charging documents. Employees said a security alarm went off and they chased a man to a car, later determined to be registered to Denning’s daughter.
Two store employees caught up to Denning as he had opened the driver’s door. The affidavit said Denning allegedly turned and punched one of the employees and got into the car, the employees still standing next to him in the open door.
Denning allegedly put the vehicle in reverse and backed out, knocking both employees to the ground.
“The victims feared they were going to be run over,” the affidavit said, but they were not, and Denning drove away.
Deputies said in the affidavit that they identified Denning by reviewing store surveillance video, running the car license plate number and examining a phone that they said Denning dropped during the incident.
After obtaining a search warrant, deputies said they found clothing in Denning’s home that matched items he allegedly wore during the robbery.
Deputies said the man who was punched in the robbery identified Denning in a photo lineup.
After being read his rights, Denning denied punching the man, saying he was “getting attacked” by the man. He acknowledged reversing the car with the employees standing between the open door and the car frame, the arrest affidavit said.
Denning allegedly got away with a wallet taken from the store.
State court records show Denning has a lengthy criminal record, most recently a third-degree felony theft conviction in Ogden in 2019.