ST. GEORGE – After contacting and interviewing the individuals wanted for questioning in an incident in which it was believed a man forced the head of a 14-year-old boy with Down syndrome under a movie theater bathroom faucet to wash off his face paint, police said Thursday they have determined there is no evidence to support criminal charges or to indicate criminal intent.
The St. George Police Department received a report May 9 of a possible assault in the bathroom of the Megaplex Sunset Stadium 8 movie theater in St. George, alleging that a man in his 60s had forcefully pushed the head of a boy with Down syndrome under a sink faucet and washed face paint from the boy’s face.
“This situation, at the outset, was concerning and a priority for our agency,” St. George Police Sgt. Sam Despain said Thursday afternoon.
Although there were signs corroborating information that the boy’s face had been washed in the bathroom, Despain said, the initial responding officer observed no marks on the boy.
Officers were told that because the boy has Down syndrome, he is limited in his verbal communication and might not be able to describe the person who washed his face, Despain said, so surveillance video was collected.
The initial report was then routed to the St. George Police Department Investigations Division for follow-up. The division obtained security video of the movie theater lobby with images of people possibly involved in the incident.
“As we were preparing to release the video and solicit the public’s help identifying them,” Despain said, “detectives were able to contact and interview them.”
Interviews revealed there were at least two men in the bathroom with the boy at the time of the incident. They observed the boy trying to wash paint off of his face. The boy appeared distressed to them and they tried to help him, after which they left the bathroom.
The information and evidence obtained through our investigation, thus far, has led to a point where we have found no evidence to support criminal charges or information to indicate criminal intent in this incident.
The Police Department encourages anyone who may have additional information about this incident to contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.
As this report is published, requests made to Megaplex Sunset Stadium 8 general and regional managers are pending response.
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