Suspect with history of lewdness arrested hours after his release from jail

File photo of St. George Police officers investigating an incident at Tonaquint Cemetery, St. George, Utah, July 10, 2021 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A suspect listed on the Utah sex offender registry is back in jail following his arrest Tuesday when officers found him fleeing from a crash – just hours after he was released from jail on a sex offender violation charge filed the previous day.

Mathis Park on West Mathis Park Place in St. George, Utah, July 29, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News

David Nicholas King, 51, has been booked into jail facing multiple charges including a felony charge of assaulting a prisoner as well as misdemeanor charges of driving under the influence, interference with an arresting officer, reckless driving and propelling a bodily substance.

The incident began when a patrol officer observed a car crash near St. George Boulevard with a driver, later identified as King, who jumped out of the car and then bolted from the scene wearing no shoes.

The officer caught up with the suspect who said “he was freaked out from the incident,” so the officer led him to the sidewalk and asked if he needed any medical attention – an offer King declined according to the report.

The officer also noted that King was pacing and unable to stand still, and the officer noticed the suspect’s eyes were “overly white” and glossy as he continued speaking of random things and slurring his words. When asked, the suspect said people were following him.

Witnesses also reported seeing the vehicle driving recklessly on St. George Boulevard shortly before the crash, prompting officers to administer a field sobriety test on King. While the suspect verbally consented to the test, the officer noted that King was unable to follow simple clear instructions and kept changing the subject as the officer was attempting to guide him through the exercises.

The officer also asked King several times if he was on any medication, had a head injury or if the suspect suffered from any mental illness or condition – all of which the suspect denied and just continued telling police he should not be driving.

Officers also had reason to believe the suspect was possibly suffering from some type of mental health issue.

At that point, officers advised the suspect that he was being placed under arrest for DUI, a decision supported by the officer’s observations of the suspect, as well as two other witness statements provided to police at the scene.

Seconds before King was taken into custody, he reportedly took off running until a second officer stepped in and took the suspect to the ground where a struggle ensued.

Several officers were involved at that point, as an attempt to handcuff the suspect resulted in King spitting on several of the officers. Another one of the officers sustained a laceration to his face during the skirmish.

King was ultimately detained and transported to St. George Regional Hospital for medical clearance and to obtain a blood draw before being transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked into jail.

This was the second arrest for King since Friday.

The incident reported Friday began when an officer was patrolling in the area of Mathis Park Place shortly after 1:30 p.m., and noticed a vehicle in the parking lot adjacent to the public park with a man sitting in the driver’s seat.

A check of the vehicle registration revealed it was registered to King, who was was a registered sex offender whose crimes involved children.

The officer noted that King was parked at a community park and playground that was open to the public. King was placed under arrest.

The suspect was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked into jail facing a misdemeanor count for being a sex offender in a protected area – the public park.

King was released from jail on Tuesday, just hours before the crash in St. George that led to the suspect being booked back into the jail for suspected DUI and other charges.

The Utah sex offender registry lists six cases involving lewdness convictions, the first of which was filed in 2005. Two of the lewdness convictions involved children.

David Nicholas King, 51, of Washington City, Utah, date not specified | Photo courtesy of the Utah sex offender registry, St. George News

In one of the cases, King was sentenced to serve time in Utah State Prison in December 2015 after he was convicted of one third-degree felony count of lewdness with prior offense, according to court records.

King was found guilty. He was sentenced to serve 0-5 years in prison.

Since his release, the defendant has been arrested multiple times for lewdness, as well as for failing to register as a sex offender, which was one of the conditions of his release from prison.

One case that involved both offenses was filed in January of this year following the suspect’s arrest in Washington City.

In that case, an officer found the defendant lying naked in a field after emergency dispatch began receiving calls of a suspicious vehicle.

Officers arrived to find the vehicle unoccupied, but with all of the doors open, and inside of the car they found clothing and a pair of sandals.

While searching the area, officers were flagged down by a farmer near East 2000 South who reported he was making the rounds to feed his cows when he came upon a man “lying on the ground completely naked” in one of his fields who was “just watching him and it freaked him out.”

Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News at the time of the arrest that officers found King nude and lying on his back covering his genitals with his hands.

Following the arrest Tuesday, the suspect is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court for hearing in August.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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