Attempt to steal 4 beers leads to felony robbery charge against St. George teen

St. George Police vehicles, date and location not specified | File photo, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — Two months after a three-day crime spree that resulted in some 20 charges filed by the Washington County Attorney’s Office, a St. George man is back in jail on a robbery charge.

Tyler Manygoats, 18, was arrested Wednesday for fighting with employees during an alleged beer theft at a local grocery store, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of his arrest.

Police responded to the Harmon’s grocery store at 1189 E. 700 South shortly after 3 p.m. and found the defendant at the store.

The store manager told police that minutes earlier he observed a man trying to exit the store through the west entrance carrying a red backpack that appeared to be “heavy.”

He said that prior to the attempted exit, the man was not seen going through any of the store’s registers to make a purchase, leading the manager to believe he was concealing stolen property, the report said.

When questioned by the manager, Manygoats admitted to taking beer and handed his backpack over and was directed to follow the manager into an office near the store’s entrance.

Meanwhile, two store employees stood in the doorway to prevent him from fleeing, and within minutes of entering the office, Manygoats attempted to exit by ramming into the employees who reacted by pulling him to the floor, pinning him against it.

Tyler Manygoats’ booking photo posted in Washington County, Utah, May 22, 2019 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Police observed the ensuing struggle on the store’s surveillance footage that showed Manygoats slamming into the employees blocking the doorway, according to court records.

As he was pinned to the floor, Manygoats was seen kicking one of the employee in the back and then striking a second employee in the ribs with his knee.

Police say he admitted to entering the store to steal beer and said he slammed into the employees blocking the doorway trying to escape.

Manygoats was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility.

Police later submitted two proposed charges to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review, including second-degree felony robbery misdemeanor theft for stealing four cans of beer valued at $8.

The robbery charge was submitted because of Manygoats’ decision “to bodily run into the employees and then continue to fight while on the ground by kicking and kneeing” them, the officer wrote in the report, although he had “ample opportunity to flee without confrontation when initially contacted, or to be compliant when in the store office.”

“He is, therefore, also arrested for robbery,” the report said.

Two months prior, Manygoats allegedly went on a three-day crime spree that extended across various locations and included a series of vehicle burglaries, a report of criminal mischief and other offenses that prompted multiple investigations.

Through a series of interviews, evidence collection, the processing of several scenes and hours of surveillance footage, officers linked Manygoats to the incidents, which was further evidenced by a shoe print impression.

He was arrested March 10 and later charged with six felonies and multiple misdemeanors in three different cases still pending in court. He was released from jail March 19 after posting a $10,000 bond.

Manygoats made an initial appearance Friday in 5th District Court on the recent robbery case and remains in custody on $10,000 bail as this report publishes.

This report is based on statements from police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. 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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Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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