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.
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.
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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