Public tips lead police to speeding motorcycle suspect; arrest made

Police found a motorcycle and rider wanted for evading arrest and several drug charges, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — After a pursuit and search involving several officers Thursday evening and a media blitz appealing to the public to help police locate a man on an orange motorcycle racing about St. George, police arrested their suspect just before midnight, booking him on multiple charges.

Bradley Scott Roper booking photo posted by the Washington County Sheriff's Office, Washington County, Utah, Aug. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the WCSO, St. George News
Bradley Scott Roper booking photo posted by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, Washington County, Utah, Aug. 28, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the WCSO, St. George News

According to a news release issued by the Police Department Friday, St. George Police arrested Bradley Scott Roper at a local motel just before midnight after being tipped off to his whereabouts.

Officers found Roper’s bike behind a vending machine and impounded it, the release said, and then identified the room Roper was reportedly occupying.

The sworn probable cause statement supporting the arrest states it was made at 1221 S. Main Street.

“I knocked on the door of the hotel room and a male came to the window. I recognized the male to be the same male that was on the motorcycle today,” the police officer wrote in the statement. “Bradley talked through the window but would not open the door. A search warrant was executed and Bradley was arrested.”

Charges filed against Roper by the Washington County Attorney’s Office in 5th District Court Friday include two third-degree felonies for failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop; two third-degree felonies for possession or use of a controlled substance, specifically amphetamine and methamphetamine; two class B misdemeanor charges for possession or use of a controlled substance, specifically lorazepam and alprazolam; and one class B misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia.

Originating events

The arrest stems from an event that allegedly started Thursday at about 5:30 p.m. on N. Bluff Street when an officer observed a speeding motorcycle passing Fabulous Freddy’s, apparently southbound, according to various police statements.

The rider, later identified as Roper, was described by police as riding an orange Yamaha YZF-R1 bullet bike.

When the officer indicated for him to stop, Roper allegedly reached back and pulled off his license plate, as Police Sgt. Dave Williams described it Thursday, or removed the license plate, as sworn in the probable cause statement.

Roper then allegedly waved his hand at the officer and took off at a high speed running a red light at 300 N. Bluff St.

Police are looking for a motorcycle and rider wanted for reckless driving and endangering the public, St. George, Utah, undated | Photo courtesy of the St. George Police Department, St. George News
Photo issued to the public Thursday, Aug. 27, by St. George Police Department asking for assistance looking for it and its rider, St. George, Utah, photo not dated | Photo courtesy of  St. George Police Department, St. George News

“I estimated the motorcycle was going approximately 100 mph as it got to the intersection of the Blvd and Bluff,” the officer swore in the probable cause statement.

The officer did not pursue Roper further but reported his observations to other officers in the area.

“Traffic was heavy and the rider, later identified as Bradley Roper, was weaving in and out of traffic,” Friday’s release by the department said. “The officer reported his observations to other officers in the area.”

Williams told St. George News Thursday that Roper sped down Bluff Street and onto Main Street where he was almost hit by a car as he was speeding through the intersection at Main Street and 700 South. It was at that point, Williams said, officers discontinued the chase in the interest of public safety.

Bradley reached speeds of 80 mph to speeds in excess of 100 mph, the Police Department said in its Friday release.

Over the course of the next two hours, Roper allegedly pulled out in front of other officers. It appeared as though he was watching for them and intentionally passing or pulling out in front of them, Police said Thursday. In each instance he sped away from the officers at a high rate speed.

Police chase, public assistance

An appeal by the Police Department asking the public for information was sent out over social media and reported  by St. George News. A second release Thursday said tips the department received positively identified Roper as the person riding the motorcycle.

In its statement released Friday, St. George Police addressed concerns about police pursuits:

It is always a challenge for officers balancing the safety of the public with the needs and efforts we must undertake to try to address situations like this. Vehicle pursuits are very dangerous, often times ending in tragedy.

In this case we are very pleased that Bradley did not hurt anyone else, or himself.

The officers involved showed great judgment and discretion in each step of this case. The officers involved, from across divisions within the department, demonstrated great team work.

Once again we would like to thank the community for their support and the information that was provided throughout this incident. The information provided was instrumental in safely, and relatively quickly, resolving this incident.

Custody and proceedings

District Judge Jeffrey Wilcox ordered $20,000 bail required for Roper’s release when he signed the arrest warrant Thursday. As this report is published, Roper remains in custody, according to Washington County Sheriff’s Office booking and release Web pages.

The court’s docket states that District Judge G. Michael Westfall has been assigned to the case. Roper is scheduled to make his initial court appearance Friday at 1:30 p.m.

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

St. George News Editor-in-Chief Joyce Kuzmanic contributed to this report.

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  • ladybugavenger August 28, 2015 at 12:02 pm

    Did the cops slam his face into asphalt/concrete as they arrested him? That’ll teach him

  • Brian August 28, 2015 at 12:14 pm

    That would be “meth face”, not “police brutality”… The chant could be “arms up, don’t inject!”

  • Billy Madison August 28, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    ♪ Bad Boy s ♫ Bad Boys ♪
    Whatcha gonna do ♪
    when they come for you? ♪
    ♫ ♪ ♫

  • Mean Momma August 28, 2015 at 4:11 pm

    Meth head on a motorcycle… Tsk tsk!

  • Lastdays August 28, 2015 at 8:53 pm

    Released from Custody already ! Who in their right mind would help this guy get bailed out ? He was having a death wish moment when he chose to go 100 mph through the city. I doubt he makes it alive through the weekend.

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