Business owner brutally beaten during early morning robbery

Stock image | St. George News
ST. GEORGE — An early morning robbery left a man injured and in the hospital after he was struck in the head multiple times before the suspect fled, and police are asking for the public’s help to find the suspect responsible for the brutal crime.

At 4 a.m., officers and emergency medical personnel were dispatched to a robbery reported at Lee Cleaners on 700 South. The business owner called 911 to report he had been struck in the head with a blunt object and robbed before the suspect fled the store, St. George Police public information officer Lona Trombley told St. George News Wednesday.

Business owner crawled from the door visible in the background, to the front of the store, a distance of more than 25 feet after being attacked during early morning robbery, St. George, Utah, July 4, 2018 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Officers arrived within 3 minutes of the call, she said, and found the injured business owner, Ralph Lee Sr., who was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center for treatment for head injuries.

Lee’s son, Ralph Lee Jr, said his father was in the restroom and was struck once as soon as he opened the door. During the ensuing struggle he was struck at least two more times as the suspect went through his father’s pockets.

Detectives were called in to process the scene, and the initial investigation determined that the suspect was a white male between 5 feet 10 inches to 6 feet tall with a medium build and wearing a bandanna.

Ralph Lee Jr. said he couldn’t understand why anyone would do this to his father, who has operated a dry cleaning business in St. George for more than 40 years. He has been known to help other dry cleaning businesses when they have experienced equipment failures and would help anyone.

“He does it because he’s just that kind of man,” his son said.

“He’s a big part of the community here and I just don’t understand how this could have happened to such a good man.”

Tombley said the investigation into the incident is ongoing and police are requesting help from the public.

Anyone with information or who may have been in the area at the time the incident occurred or who may have surveillance footage from the area near the business is being asked to contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.

This report is based on statements from police or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

  Email: cblowers@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

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

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15 Comments

  • John July 4, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    another entitled meth head?

    • Striker4 July 4, 2018 at 4:21 pm

      Oh oh John got his pantyhose in a knot

      • John July 4, 2018 at 5:07 pm

        strikeout, they let you off early from the fryer for the holiday? salting them fries must be a tough job, and why do you care so much about panties you pervert?

  • Scott July 4, 2018 at 3:57 pm

    By all means, let’s encourage more growth in St. George

    • Striker4 July 4, 2018 at 4:22 pm

      Scott no problem that’s exactly what they’re doing

      • Real Life July 4, 2018 at 6:44 pm

        Scott, you’re exactly right. We don’t need any more criminals and drug addicts like “striker” here.

        • mesaman July 4, 2018 at 8:29 pm

          R L, are you claiming “striker” is a drug addict? Can you support your claim? You are wide open for slander if you cannot.

          • Real Life July 4, 2018 at 11:47 pm

            He has to be. Just look at his comments. He comes and goes, after numerous days off, posts at all times of day and night, changes his name on the drop of a hat, picks fights with people that side with him on the rare occasions when he posts something coherant, repeats himself constantly, repeats your comments when he is beaten. And slanderous? Are you kidding me? Come on MM, you are not gonna stick up for this guy are you?

          • John July 5, 2018 at 1:46 pm

            strikeout is also obsessed with women’s undergarments…just sayin’

          • comments July 5, 2018 at 5:57 pm

            M&M, you gettin’ a bit senile or what? You been around long enough you should know our dear little sweetheart Dump or “striker” quite well. Before “striker4” he had been “….” for a very long time, and before that “Dexter”. His drug problems might be the least of his worries. I figure he has some kind of severe brain damage… our poor sweet little Dump <3 Bless his little heart <3. He can't help the way he is.

  • SilentThunder July 4, 2018 at 10:58 pm

    Just here for the comments…… /popcorn

  • Rob83 July 5, 2018 at 12:01 am

    Wish we could make news mandatory, then we could find this loose cannon quick. How scary for this guy to go through. I hope he makes a quick recovery and I hope karma bits this low life in his behind.

  • IPFreely July 5, 2018 at 5:40 am

    I think open borders would reduce this kind of crime…

  • RadRabbit July 5, 2018 at 11:19 am

    Hope Mr. Lee is ok and gets himself a concealed carry gun and some training so this doesn’t happen again.

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