Attempted carjacking in hospital parking lot leads to man’s arrest

ST. GEORGE — A local man was charged with robbery and assault after a welfare check Thursday evening turned into a chase through the parking lot of Dixie Regional Medical Center that culminated in the suspect attempting to overtake a vehicle driven by a woman and her small child.

Reilley Perez, 27, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washignton County, Utah, Jul. 25, 2019 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

At 7:30 p.m., an officer working at Dixie Regional Medical Center was notified that a man, later identified as 27-year-old Reilley Perez, ran out of the hospital with an IV still in his arm. The man was reportedly under the influence of methamphetamine and opioids when he entered the hospital, and his departure presented safety concerns with him having an IV in place while in an uncontrolled environment.

Additional officers were called to the scene at that point for assistance, according to the probable cause statement submitted by police in support of the arrest.

After exiting the medical center, the officer saw the suspect standing on top of a vehicle located at the end of the parking lot, and as soon as Perez saw police, he jumped off the car and started running.

At that point, officers had no information leading them to believe that a crime had taken place, and St. George Police Officer Ken Childs said they told Perez he just needed to have the IV removed for his safety.

“We were basically doing a welfare check on the guy since he was running around with the IV still in his arm,” Childs told St. George News.

Undaunted, Perez continued to evade officers as he approached an unoccupied Cadillac and struck the driver’s side front window “very hard with his elbow, “ Childs said, adding that it appeared he was trying to get into the car.

When the blow to the window failed to break the glass, the suspect continued south on foot where he approached a Jeep heading out of the parking lot and allegedly struck the passenger side window.

Childs said the driver did not see Perez until she heard the bang on her window.

“The noise was so loud she thought she might have hit something at first, so she stopped the car.”

The suspect jumped in the Jeep and started yelling for the driver to “go, go, go,” the report said. Instead of complying, the woman yelled at Perez and told him to get out of the vehicle and then started to hit him as she continued yelling.

“The driver was really scared,” Childs said, “and she had her small child in the car when this happened.”

Perez jumped out of the Jeep and started running through the parking lot until he was spotted by staff members, at which point he began yelling and attempting to hit the employees just as officers closed in and ordered him to stop.

When Perez failed to comply, officers used force to finally subdue him, and he was taken into custody and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he remains on $15,000 bail.

Perez was charged with one second-degree felony count of robbery, along with four misdemeanors, including one count of assault/threat of violence on a health care worker, criminal mischief, interference with an arresting officer and intoxication.

Childs added the suspect was booked on the robbery offense due to the “use of force or fear to deprive someone of something.”

“He terrified this woman when he jumped in her car and tried to  force her to drive.”

The incident took less than 10 minutes from start to finish, Childs said, “so at least it was resolved quickly.”

This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement 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.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!