ST. GEORGE — Washington County Sheriff’s deputies identified and apprehended an alleged aggravated robbery suspect Wednesday after the suspect reportedly posted a video about the altercation on social media.
Deputies were dispatched to a report of a robbery at a cabin in New Harmony where a party was being held on Feb. 24, according to a probable cause statement filed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in support of the arrest.
Upon arrival, deputies spoke with a man who reported that he had been assaulted at the party by a black male and a Hispanic male, threatened with a gun and then robbed, the arresting deputy wrote in a sworn statement.
The cost to attend the party was $10, the man told authorities, noting that the two suspects paid to get into the party and attended the party for approximately 30 minutes before the party got shutdown.
When the two suspects subsequently approached the man and demanded their money back, the man said he told them he didn’t have their money but agreed to take them to the person who might, the report stated.
While walking to a barn outside the cabin, the man said the two men pushed him down and began hitting him in the head.
“He said one of them took his wallet and his phone,” the deputy wrote in the statement. “He said the black male pulled out a gun from his waistband, pointed it at him and said something about not trying him.”
The two suspects then got in a car and left with the man’s phone and wallet containing $80 in cash along with the man’s social security card, credit card, passport ID card and driver’s license, according to the statement.
The man told authorities he had sustained a bump behind his ear where he was hit and that his hearing was muffled in that ear since the assault.
On Feb. 26, while authorities were working to identify and track down the alleged suspects, the man located a video posted on social media by one of the suspects, who was subsequently identified as 22-year-old Chibuike Cletus Amadi, of St. George, according to the report.
The video reportedly showed Amadi talking about the incident at the party.
“The video shows a black male saying, ‘I just wanna say, f— that (pejorative omitted) who took everybody’s money last night. That’s why your punk a– got jumped, (pejorative omitted), and I got more than my ten dollars back, (pejorative omitted). Now you pocket-less,’” the deputy stated.
A Dixie State University campus police officer reportedly told authorities investigating the robbery incident that Amadi is “aggressive” and had been “a problem at several illegal alcohol parties on campus,” according to the report.
On Wednesday, authorities detained Amadi and executed a search warrant on his St. George residence, according to the statement. During a search of Amadi’s room, detectives allegedly located a black handgun under a backpack located on Amadi’s bed.
“Closer inspection showed it to be a BB gun,” the deputy stated. “It was constructed of metal, and used a magazine to load the BB’s. Only upon close inspection, (the detective) was able to determine it was not an actual firearm.”
During questioning, Amadi allegedly admitted to being at the party and confronting a “Hispanic-looking male” near the barn with some of his friends because they wanted their money back, the report stated.
Amadi told authorities a fight broke out with the man and that he hit the man in the head after the man hit him, according to the statement. Amadi further said one of his friends was responsible for taking the man’s cellphone and that the friend later threw the phone out the car window on Interstate 15.
“Amadi said it wasn’t him who pulled the gun, it was one of the people with him,” the deputy wrote in the statement. “… Amadi said he did post a video on Snapchat talking about getting his money back, but denied stealing the phone or wallet.”
Amadi was arrested and transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility. As this report is published, it is unclear if a second suspect in this case has been identified or arrested.
The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an information in 5th District Court accusing Amadi of first-degree felony aggravated assault, along with class B misdemeanor assault.
According to Utah Court documents, Amadi has been having run-ins with law enforcement in Utah since 2014, having been arrested or charged on separate occasions for forgery, theft and unlawful possession of alcohol. On multiple occasions in 2016, Amadi faced alcohol- and drug-related charges. In January, Amadi was arrested on charges of criminal trespass and theft of service.
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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