MOBILE COUNTY, Ala. (WKRG) — A Mobile County Sheriff’s deputy searching for a kidnapping suspect ended up in a scuffle with a man who MCSO said was wearing heavy body armor and tried to pull a gun on the deputy, according to department officials. MCSO said they found a cache of guns and ammo in the man’s car and home.

Nathan Trehern, 21, was arrested. Trehern is charged with attempting to elude, resisting arrest and several gun charges. Trehern was not the suspect the deputy was initially searching for.

Nine guns and 1,400 rounds of ammunition were recovered from the traffic stop.

“This is not a normal collection for a 21-year-old without a job,” said Paul Burch, Mobile County Sheriff-Elect.

According to officials, a deputy was near Military Road and Dauphin Island Parkway looking for a kidnapping suspect who MCSO believed might be driving a black Nissan Maxima.

The deputy saw a vehicle matching the description and attempted to get behind the car. That’s when the deputy realized the car began speeding and was putting more and more distance between the two. MCSO said the driver of the car, Trehern, then wrecked the car in a ditch and started running.

The deputy chased Trehern and attempted to tase him but the taser was ineffective, which led to a scuffle, according to MCSO. MCSO said Trehern then reached towards his waistband. The deputy believed Trehern was reaching for a gun and noticed that Trehern was wearing body armor with a heavy plate, according to MCSO.

The deputy pulled his gun out and pointed it at Trehern’s head because of the body armor. The deputy told Trehern to drop his weapon, which MCSO said Trehern did not do, leading to the deputy hitting him in the back of the head with the gun in an attempt to get Trehern to drop his weapon.

That’s when Trehern dropped his weapon, according to MCSO, and the deputy put him in handcuffs. While they were walking to the car, Trehern slipped out of the left side cuff and started resisting again, according to MCSO. The deputy got him back under control while other deputies started to arrive.

Officials said the body armor looked to be the kind that is issued to deputies at the Mobile County Sheriff’s Office. MCSO said several guns were found between Trehern’s car and home. Deputies found:

  • 9 guns
  • 1400 rounds of ammo
  • several magazines
  • two Glock switches

Officials said they believe most of the guns were stolen. Glock switches are what can turn a semi-automatic gun into a fully automatic gun.

The guns recovered, some illegally modified, others with pieces not usually seen on the street. Including a shell catcher on a gun that the sheriff’s office says was in the passenger seat of his car when he was arrested. “This is the first one I’ve seen on the street, I see them on ranges, it keeps you from having to pick up all your brass while you’re shooting,” said Burch.

The sheriff’s office says they don’t know what Trehern was doing or where he was going when they arrested him, as he’s not cooperating with deputies

“Our belief is that he was heading somewhere to commit some type of act to be actively wearing – that’s not the type of body armor you’d just wear under your shirt all the time, that’s an outer body armor typically, it’s got the armored plates,” said Burch.

Deputies are still investigating to determine where all of the guns came from, but they believe most were stolen.

“I think this is a huge win for the citizens of the city and county because each one of these is someone who could have been used by a thug like him to shoot or kill an innocent person,” said Burch.

On New Year’s Eve, a shooting occurred in downtown Mobile injuring nine and killing one. Mobile police said a Glock switch was used in that shooting. Mobile Mayor Sandy Stimpson said that shooting was likely gang-related.