Man who walked into traffic, swiped knife at someone ‘wanted to die,’ police say

Stock image | Photo by Chalabala via iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE – A Colorado man is in police custody for aggravated assault, intoxication and other offenses after he walked onto a busy roadway and swiped a knife at a man whose car he jumped into.

The incident occurred Monday with witnesses telling police that a man, later identified as Jack William Stokes, 58, of Commerce, Colorado, had been walking into traffic in the area of 900 S. River Road, according to a probable cause statement.

Jack William Stokes, of Commerce, Colorado, booking photo June 21, 2018 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Passing vehicles nearly hit the man until a motorcycle whose rider attempted to dodge Stokes clipped him with the bike’s mirror, knocking him to the ground.

A man who saw Stokes fall over stopped to see if he was OK, but Stokes jumped into the back seat of the man’s car. Worried Stokes may attempt to steal his car, the man reached in get his keys.

“When (the man) reached into to get his keys Jack swiped at him with the knife but did not make contact,” according to the statement.

The man backed away and Stokes remained in the car until police arrived.

The responding officer told Stokes to put his knife down and exit the vehicle, which he did. Stokes was placed in handcuffs and the officer noted in the report that Stokes had an apparent self-inflicted puncture wound on this neck that was bleeding.

The motorcycle rider, driver and two other witnesses provided the officer with background of what had happened prior to his arrival.

Stokes was taken to Dixie Regional Medical Center for medical treatment. Another officer spoke to Stokes at the hospital and made him aware of this rights. Stokes agreed to speak to the police and was asked about what had happened to his neck.

Stokes replied that he had stabbed himself because “he wanted to die,” according the statement. He said the same thing about walking into traffic. “He wanted to get hit by a car, and he wanted to die,” the report states.

Stokes told the officer he had ridden into town on a Greyhound bus earlier that day.

As for why he swiped the knife at the man whose car he took a seat in, Stokes said he pushed the knife toward at the man because “he felt threatened by him.”

During the interview. the officer noticed that Stokes’ facial expressions kept changing “as if he was seeing things that did not exist. Specifically, he was saying that he was seeing people in the patient room that were not there.”

Stokes’ speech was also rapid and he was sweating a lot, which led the officer to believe the man was under the influence of methamphetamine.

When asked about taking meth, Stokes said he had recently swallowed some. Stokes also submitted to a breath test that showed a “zero” result, according to the probable cause statement.

While the police were drafting charges against Stokes, he was treated for his self-inflicted wound and released from the hospital.

Stokes was picked up by St. George Police around 3:10 a.m. Thursday after the report of a suspicious person in the area of Convention Center Drive and Riverside Drive.

The responding officer arrested Stokes based on charges connected to Monday’s incident, as well as additional charges after a bag of suspected meth and about an ounce of marijuana were found in his boots.

Stokes has been charged with a third-degree felony for aggravated assault and multiple misdemeanors for intoxication (via the meth) and drug possession, along with infractions related to walking into traffic and disorderly conduct.

He is held at the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility and has a court appearance set for Monday.

St. George Police officer Lona Trombley said Friday that the delay in Stokes’ arrest was due to his receiving medical treatment for his neck wound at the time.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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3 Comments

  • Proud Rebel June 23, 2018 at 3:39 pm

    I have two thoughts on this. One is that somebody dropped the ball by releasing him from the ER without giving SGPD a call.
    Second thought is that if he’d pulled a knife on me, his wish to die would have been granted.

  • utahdiablo June 24, 2018 at 10:13 am

    Conceal, carry and use when needed

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