Washington City man appears in court for allegedly bailing on hotel bill, fighting with police

2016 File photo of Washington City Police vehicles on Red Hills Parkway, Washington City, Utah, November, 2016 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A Washington City man, who was originally being sought by police for failing to pay nearly $300 in hotel fees, appeared in court Tuesday facing multiple charges for allegedly assaulting police officers during his arrest over the weekend.

On Saturday, officers were dispatched to a hotel in Washington City on what was initially reported as a suspicious incident after a couple allegedly refused to pay for a room both had occupied for several nights.  

Officers spoke to hotel staff who told them that a man came down to pay for the room which turned out to be booked under the name of a man in California. When asked, the suspect allegedly refused to provide any identification and would not give the clerk his credit card number. 

The suspect, later identified as Keith Bergman III, 26, of Washington City, then left the front desk and was seen leaving the area in a U-Haul van, the staff told police. 

During a search of the room, officers located multiple pieces of mail belonging to the woman who was reportedly seen leaving with the suspect, and who they later learned was an employee of the hotel.

She was also seen checking Bergman into the hotel by officers viewing surveillance footage. 

Keith Harrold Bergman, III, 26, of Washington City, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, May 9, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

According to the report, it was determined the employee “failed to follow policy and appeared to have failed to collect payment intentionally,” the officer noted in the report.

The woman then allegedly fled with Bergman without paying for the room, which gave officers reason to believe the two were working in concert at the time of the check-in. Both suspects were being sought by police at that point. 

On Saturday, officers were advised the U-Haul van was located on Cove Drive in Washington where they approached the suspect who was outside of the van. Bergman reportedly started backing away from police as they attempted to handcuff him. 

The suspect “was ordered multiple times and given an opportunity to comply with the order” to place his hands behind his back, which is when the suspect acted aggressively, flailing his arms, kicking at police and making multiple aggressive threats toward officers. He allegedly said “that we were lucky he didn’t shoot us and that he would do things to us if we took the cuffs off of him,” the officer reported. 

After a number of minutes, the scuffle as over, and the suspect was transported to Dixie Regional Medical Center to be cleared and then taken to jail. 

Bergman was booked on multiple charges, including theft of services since the hotel was out $270 in charges that were never paid, which is typically a misdemeanor charge. However, the charge was enhanced to a felony due to the suspect having prior convictions for similar crimes. 

He also faces five counts of assault on a police officer, interfering with an arrest and possession of drugs and paraphernalia, each a misdemeanor. 

Bergman made an initial appearance in 5th District Court via video and remains in custody on $14,080 bail. 

Charges against the woman allegedly involved in the incident have yet to be filed with the court and the investigation continues.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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