UPDATED: Black Bear Diner shelters alleged victim of rape from man wielding knife

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.

“This situation was a result of domestic violence,” police Sgt. Sam Despain 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

There has been a history of domestic violence in the relationship between David Petersen and the woman in this case, Despain said. The two have been living together, off and on, for a while now.

“The two were together driving around, there was some domestic violence issues occurring. He drove to a location near Black Bear Diner, parked the vehicle, and while they were in the vehicle the alleged rape took place,” Despain said. “She was able to run from the vehicle to get some help.”

Despain said that the woman was able to make it into Black Bear Diner where she asked the employees to call police and help her out.

“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.

“A knife was displayed in the initial assault,” Despain said. “Thankfully no one was hurt in that respect.”

Despain said that Petersen is a restricted person and not allowed by law to be in possession of a weapon.

St. George Policeman arrests David Petersen at Black Bear Diner, St. George, Utah, Sept. 2, 2014 | Photo by T.S. Romney St. George News
St. George Policeman arrests David Petersen at Black Bear Diner, St. George, Utah, Sept. 2, 2014 | Photo by T.S. Romney St. George News

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.

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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Email: tsromney@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2014, all rights reserved.

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9 Comments

  • Brian September 3, 2014 at 11:52 am

    I don’t hold out a lot of hope for this guy being “reformed” and turned into a productive citizen by spending time in jail. The modern equivalent of an oubliette may be a better solution, but the closest we’ll get is to ship him off to Sheriff Joe. Instead we’ll give him 3 free meals a day, free internet access, free cable tv, a free gym membership, and the chance to “network” for a few months or a year, then cross our fingers and cut him loose. I still say build an oubliette.

  • bobber September 3, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    She’s probly just crying rape because he wouldn’t share his meth stash with her.

  • Koolaid September 3, 2014 at 2:55 pm

    With a face like that, I don’t see how even horses and dogs could be attracted to him, let alone any woman.

    • Frank September 3, 2014 at 11:52 pm

      Koolaid seems obsessed with horses, cows, sheep, or whatever farm animal he can get his hands and chaps on.

      • Koolaid September 4, 2014 at 8:18 am

        Not obsessed with the animals, by amazed by the born and (in)bred local boys who seem to have a thing for their farm animals and pets. Are these degenerates examples of what happens when relatives marry relatives, making an entire forest of trees without branches? Is that why you have rodeos and dog parks, so these guys can find dates? Dunno what’s worse, though, these local (in)breds with their animals or the (in)breds beating their women.

  • annie September 3, 2014 at 4:15 pm

    “There has been a history of domestic violence in the relationship between David Petersen and the woman.” Hit her once shame on him, hit her twice shame on her for staying/going back.

  • McMurphy September 3, 2014 at 4:45 pm

    Instead of talking him out of cutting his own throat the police should have encouraged him to go through with it.

  • God September 4, 2014 at 12:58 am

    Wow, I thought Youtube comments were the worst of humanity, but you guys have got them beat. Way to go.

  • Steve September 4, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    If St. George News allows such childish – almost criminal – comments, it is a reflection on St. George News as well as on the childish people. Please get some standards and enforce them.

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