ST. GEORGE — A local man suspected of driving a woman to the bank against her will and forcing her to withdraw money for him was arrested Thursday at a bank on Sunset Boulevard and faces kidnapping and robbery charges.
Officers were dispatched to the Wells Fargo Sunset branch on a report of a suspicious person shortly after 12:30 p.m. Thursday and arrived to find the suspect, identified by his Nevada driver’s license as as 38-year-old Ali Abdul-Salaam, according to a report filed in support of the arrest.
Police say Salaam had called a woman earlier that same day asking for help to get “some money.”
The woman drove the suspect to a bank but told him she didn’t have money in her account and that she didn’t want to give him any money. The suspect then reportedly insisted that she go into the bank and request blank checks, which he said he would use to deposit money into his account at Wells Fargo.
While en route to the bank, the report states that Salaam then told the woman to get in the back seat so he could drive, and when she did not comply right away he “threatened her as he drove to the bank,” officers noted.
Through the course of the investigation, officers also learned that as the two were making their way to the bank, the suspect struck the woman in the head and grabbed her arm, resulting in redness and swelling that was also noted by responding officers at the scene.
The suspect was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing first-degree kidnapping and second-degree felony robbery.
This was not the first incident involving the suspect.
On June 14, officers were dispatched to a laundromat on East St. George Boulevard on a brandishing call involving a suspect who went to the laundromat shortly after 2 a.m. and asked one of the employees to loan him money.
When the woman refused, the suspect got upset and allegedly went out to the parking lot where he slashed all four tires on the employee’s vehicle and then fled from the parking lot on foot, according to charging documents filed with 5th District Court.
Police were called but were unable to arrest Salaam since he had fled prior to their arrival. Even so, they were able to obtain a statement since the individual witnessed the entire incident, according to the report.
Officers also obtained the security footage that showed a man in the parking lot who appeared to be damaging the tires on one of the vehicles as described by the witness.
In all, the cost to repair the damage was estimated to be between $500-$1,500.
As the investigation progressed, officers also learned the employee knew the suspect after the two met a few months ago. As such, the incident was coded as a domestic.
Following the suspect’s arrest at Wells Fargo on Thursday, one misdemeanor count of criminal mischief was added once Salaam was booked into jail.
A review of the suspect’s criminal history includes a misdemeanor theft of services case that was closed in 2020, along with a protective order filed against the suspect, which took affect in September of last year.
While the suspect presented a license issued out of Nevada, according to court records the suspect is a resident of St. George.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
This report is based on statements from court records, 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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