UPDATED: Man wielding knife at Black Bear Diner arrested for domestic violence, rape

ST. GEORGE – St. George Police responded to a report of an assault Tuesday afternoon at the Black Bear Diner, 1245 S. Main St. in St. George, after a woman entered the restaurant asking employees for help.

“The woman came in and said she just escaped from a vehicle where she was being attacked and asked us to call 911, which we did,” Chris Nelson, the manager on duty at Black Bear Diner at the time of the incident, said, “and then we provided a safe haven for her.”

The woman remained in the diner as she waited for officers to arrive.

“We responded to some type of domestic dispute,” Lt. Doug Sargent said. “Allegedly, David Petersen struck a woman in the eye with his hand.”

Initial reports indicated a knife had been used in the assault and that the suspect, Petersen, had fled the scene; however, after officers arrived at the restaurant, Petersen drove back to the Black Bear parking lot and held a knife to his own throat. Officers were able to talk him down fairly quickly, however, Sargent said.

David Petersen of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 2, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
David Petersen of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Sept. 2, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

In connection with this incident, there are other alleged crimes that Petersen may have committed relating to domestic violence, Sargent said, such as threats and aggravated assault.

“There is a possibility a knife was involved (in the assault), but that is still under investigation,” Sargent said.

Petersen was arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was booked on charges of rape, a first-degree felony;  domestic violence-related aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; illegal possession of a weapon by a category II person, a class A misdemeanor; domestic violence-related simple assault, enhanced because of serious bodily injury or pregnancy, a class A misdemeanor; and domestic violence-related threat against life, a class B misdemeanor.

At the time of this publication, Petersen is still in custody and is being held on $28,635 bail.

Inquiries made to the St. George Police Department about the additional charges of rape and possession of a weapon by a category II person, which were added during the booking process, are pending response as of the time of this publication.

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

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement or other emergency responders and may not contain the full scope of findings.

Ed. Note: Updated Sept. 2 at 10:14 p.m.

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  • Randy September 2, 2014 at 9:16 pm

    All the events happened in the parking lot. The mandating provided support to victim while arrest was made.

  • Dolly September 2, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hmmmmm…Another Petersen in the news…do ya think they’re all related????

  • Carmen September 3, 2014 at 5:46 am

    I’m proud of our St George police officers being able to handle the situation towards the suspect without shooting him. It shows our officers are trained to use common sense first even though the suspect was holding a weapon. Good job!

  • proudtobeamerican September 3, 2014 at 8:29 am

    I was waiting for Black Bear to be in the news. It must be fate. The host staff is racist. I entered the door Sunday afternoon because I wanted steak for lunch. I had never ate at Black Bear dinner for lunch before, I thought I would try something new! The hostess at the front did not even say hello or even nod her head at me. The manager waked up to the hostess sexualy harassed the same hostess, still nobody acknowledged my presents at all. Well to old white folks walked in after I had stood there for about five minuets and they were treated like they were the owners of the place. Well I left walked over to Deny’s and had my steak lunch. I will never eat at black Bear Dinner nor would I recommend it to anybody else.

    • EL JEFE September 3, 2014 at 8:59 am

      Why is the restaurant racist? Because they have the word “Black” in their name?? Would it have been better if it were called Brown Bear, or, Polar Bear, or Panda Bear?? And do you have something against “old” folks? Do you discriminate against “old” people? Are you a “young” person? Middle aged person? Sounds like you need to get a clue buddy. Do you use spell check much? Way too many questions for you to answer? I would acknowledged the “presents” if brought them to me. Sheesh…..

      • Mr.Tibbs September 3, 2014 at 11:11 am

        I vote for Koala Bear how can anyone hate on a Koala bear! Great job by SG PD funny thing was I just had lunch there Sunday and wow were they packed full but not a long wait and I had the T bone wow was it yummy! Keep up the Great Work St George PD and taking bad bad people off the streets and keeping us safe!

      • proudtobeamerican September 3, 2014 at 11:49 am

        So I can’t spell today. You I guess have never been able to read. Nope I am not as young as you might assume. I love old folks. September 1st would have been my Fathers 100th birthday. He died 10yrs ago. So do the math. I am going to go out on a limb and assume you can count. If you would have read the comment you would have realized the racism remark had nothing to do with the name of the place. Maybe I should have translated it onto Spanish for you. Oh wait! This is America! We speak English here!

      • Incognegro (Josh Dalton) September 3, 2014 at 12:55 pm

        Let me guess…you work in the kitchen. Proudtobeamerican can’t spell and you can’t read and Black Bear Dinners host staff are racist. Being that you work in the kitchen his comment has nothing to do with you. I too will no longer recommend this Dinner to anybody either! Even though I have family that works there.

        • Mean momma September 4, 2014 at 10:03 am

          IT DINER! Not Dinner! One N not two! You eat dinner at a diner! Just had to clear that up for proudtobeamerican and incognegro.

    • Not Convinced..... September 3, 2014 at 9:57 am

      Oh, I don’t think that is about racism. We are white and have had the same experience, more than once. It was just her being rude. If she was sexually harassed she might have been distracted too…maybe you could be a good guy and call their district office. It needs to be reported. 🙁

      We used to go out to Black Bear for family events and just for fun. I realized after reading your post that this lack of friendliness is probably why we go somewhere else now. A greeting with eye contact is important…..the servers are great though…once you get in the door. ughhhhh

      • proudtobeamerican September 3, 2014 at 3:51 pm

        Then I guess they just have horrible customer service…..again I stand firm on the fact that I will not recommend this place to someone who is starving!

    • My Evil Twin September 3, 2014 at 10:47 am

      I will state unequivocally that you, PROUDTOBEAMERICAN are totally full of crap. There is nothing racist about the Black Bear Diner. You are lying through your teeth, and are most likely a disgruntled ex-employee.

      • proudtobeamerican September 3, 2014 at 3:50 pm

        nope…never worked there. I will never eat there either. Try again!

  • Child Friendly Place September 3, 2014 at 9:43 am

    St George is becoming more family oriented and child friendly every day. NOT!

  • My Evil Twin September 3, 2014 at 10:52 am

    For a relatively small area, we sure seem to have a lot of scum sucking dirt bags here in Dixie. I guess it takes a real man to assault a pregnant woman. . .

  • bobber September 3, 2014 at 4:53 pm

    The African-American Bear Diner…. LOL’d

  • spkenny September 7, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    Why is it at all that comments regarding the st george police, and an individual with a knife, turns into a racial conversation at all? I really hate it when people try and start a flame war in any comment section. Reminds me of immature grade school antics simply to get a mob fired up. Black bear is a great place, and there are plenty of st george residents who will say so.

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