ST. GEORGE — A 20-year-old St. George man was arrested for robbery Tuesday after trying to rip a purse off of someone’s shoulder before running off with their iPad. The man’s friend was also arrested for obstruction of justice for leading police astray during an investigation.
Officers responded to a report of a robbery in St. George in which Nicholas Taylor Kennedy forcefully took a woman’s property before running away, according to a probable cause statement written by St. George Police Officer Andy Mickelson in support of the arrests.
“(The young woman) said they were walking together when (Kennedy) told her he was going to ‘steal her s—,’” Mickelson wrote in the statement.
The woman said Kennedy took her iPad with a red case away from her and then grabbed the purse she was wearing over her shoulder, according to the statement. When Kennedy tried to rip her purse away from her, she started screaming. The purse ripped, but the woman was able to hold on to it.
When a witness asked the woman if she needed help, the statement said, Kennedy allegedly took off running.
Police officers responding to the area located a man running on Sherman Road in St. George carrying a tablet in a red case, according to a probable cause statement by St. George Police Officer Joseph Watson.
Police stopped the man, who was identified as 18-year-old Michael Thomas Henderson, of St. George.
“He confirmed he had (the young woman’s) iPad,” Watson said in the statement. “He first claimed to have found it in a nearby public bathroom as he was walking home. He denied seeing who left it there.”
After further questioning, Henderson admitted he got the iPad from his friend Nicholas Kennedy, according to the statement of probable cause.
Henderson denied any knowledge of what was going on and changed his story numerous times about the direction Kennedy was heading as well as his whereabouts, Watson said in his statement. After some time, Henderson finally told police Kennedy was hiding under a nearby bridge.
“He admitted to deceiving the police to prevent his friend from getting arrested,” Watson said. “During this time myself and other officers were led astray in different locations looking for (Kennedy) based off of what (Henderson) was saying.”
Police later located and interviewed Kennedy about the incident.
“He admitted that he took the iPad and tried to rip the purse off of her shoulder,” Mickelson wrote. “He also admitted to having been drinking alcohol and was intoxicated.”
During the investigation, officers learned Kennedy had also violated a stalking injunction.
Both Kennedy and Henderson were arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
Kennedy was charged with a second-degree felony for robbery, a class A misdemeanor for violation of a stalking injunction and three class B misdemeanors for criminal mischief, theft and minor alcohol consumption.
Kennedy’s bail for release pending trial stands at $11,950. He is scheduled to make his initial court appearance on Thursday.
Henderson was charged with a third-degree felony for obstruction of justice. His bail for release stands at $5,000. He is also scheduled to make his initial court appearance Thursday.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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