Overbearing smell like ‘burnt vinegar’ from park bathroom leads to woman’s arrest

ST. GEORGE — A 37-year-old woman was arrested Thursday after she was allegedly caught using drugs in a Vernon Worthen Park bathroom when officers observed an “overbearing burnt odor,” similar to the odor of “burning vinegar,” coming from the park restroom.

Officers were in the area of 400 E. 300 South in St. George when they observed two people going in and out of the park bathroom several times, according to a probable cause statement written by St. George Police Officer Joseph Watson in support of the arrest.

Shalise Marie Randolph, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted June 4, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Shalise Marie Randolph, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted June 4, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

After several minutes, the man and woman were seen entering the women’s bathroom together.

When officers neared the bathroom, the statement said, they could smell a distinct chemical odor coming from inside the bathroom.

“I could see both individuals were in the same stall,” Watson wrote in the statement. “I could see the female going through her purse and observed her take something out. A short time later I heard her begin to cough. The chemical odor was an overbearing burnt odor which I recognized to be similar to the odor of burning vinegar.”

When the woman, identified as Shalise Marie Randolph, of St. George, came out of the bathroom, Watson asked her if it were possible they were using illegal drugs in the bathroom, according to the statement. Randolph denied the use of drugs and gave officers consent to search her purse.

Inside the purse, Watson located four cut plastic straws, the statement said. Three of the straws had a white powdery substance. The fourth straw was partially melted and contained a darker colored substance which tested positive for opium. Officers also located a small, round pill that was identified as “Oxycotin” (sic).

Randolph admitted the substance in the burnt straw was burnt heroin, according to the statement. She also admitted she did not have a prescription for the pill.

Randolph was arrested and booked into the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.

She was charged with two third-degree felonies for drug possession, and a class B misdemeanor for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox, of the 5th District Court, ordered Randolph’s bail reduced to $10,000 during her initial court appearance Friday.

Randolph is scheduled to make her next court appearance on June 15, where she will be represented by court appointed Attorney Jay T. Winward after being found indigent by the court.

The man in the restroom with Randolph has not been charged in connection with this case.

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

Ed. note June 8: Police and court documents identify the pill found in Randolph’s purse as “Oxycotin,” which appears to be a misspelling; inquiries are being made to the authorities to determine if the pill is rightly characterized as Oxytocin or Oxycontin or otherwise.

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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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