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.
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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