Police: Las Vegas man offers $50K bribe to avoid DUI arrest in Cedar City

Composite image | Background photo by Peter Csaza/iStock/Getty Images Plus, Cedar City News / St. George News

CEDAR CITY — A Las Vegas man faces charges of attempting to bribe a public servant after he allegedly offered a police officer as much as $50,000 to release him instead of arresting him on suspicion of DUI.

Booking photo of Jacquez Garfield Wright, 28, of Las Vegas, Cedar City, Utah, May 24, 2020 | Photo courtesy of Iron County Jail, St. George News / Cedar City News

Responding to a report of a traffic accident Sunday morning, Cedar City Police officers reportedly found a 28-year-old man, identified as Las Vegas resident Jacquez Garfield Wright, driving a gray Dodge Journey SUV. The vehicle was stopped in a drive-thru area between two fast food restaurants near 1050 W. 200 North, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of Wright’s arrest.

“I observed Jacquez with very poor walking and standing balance,” a responding Cedar City Police officer wrote, adding, “As I stood approximately 10 feet from Jacquez, I smelled the strong odor of an alcoholic beverage coming from his person. I attempted to inform Jacquez of the reason for contact, and in his brief response, observed him with slurred speech.”

Police noted in the report that as they questioned Wright, he became increasingly agitated and belligerent and even attempted to walk away from the officers at one point. Wright was placed in handcuffs and when he refused to enter the officers’ vehicle, the statement said, he had to be stunned twice with a Taser before finally complying with the officers’ commands.

One of the officers also noted that Wright offered to pay him cash on multiple occasions if he would let him go. 

“During my times with Jacquez, he offered me $50,000 to release him,” the officer wrote. “I was not concerned about this statement initially, but Jacquez later offered $12,000, and later $10,000 for me to release him.”

The officer continued to say that throughout his interaction, Wright “claimed several times to be very wealthy, and was in possession of over $500 cash.”

The bribe offers were recorded, along with the rest of the incident, on a body camera worn by the officer.

After obtaining a DUI warrant, police officers took Wright to Cedar City Hospital to get a blood sample. However, “due to the subject resisting, the phlebotomist could not properly conduct the blood draw,” the affidavit states. 

Wright was subsequently booked into Iron County Jail, where he is being held on suspicion of several counts, including a third-degree felony charge of offering to bribe a public servant, in addition to misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, marijuana possession, interfering with an arresting officer and operating a vehicle without a valid license, as his Las Vegas license had been revoked.

In his initial court appearance Wednesday, the court found Wright to be indigent and appointed an attorney to represent him.

Updated May 28, 8:30 a.m. to include information about initial court appearance.

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

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