ST. GEORGE — A man was arrested in St. George for allegedly beating and stabbing a woman during a reported robbery at a shuttle office early Thursday morning.
Shortly after 1 a.m., officers responded to a report that a woman had been assaulted at the Salt Lake Express office located in the shopping center on Bluff Street near the now-closed K-mart store.
St. George Police Officer Tiffany Mitchell told St. George News that officers found a 26-year-old woman, who is an employee of the business, severely injured inside of the office. She was transported to St. George Regional Medical Center by ambulance in serious condition.
Mitchell said the woman had been brutally beaten and then stabbed by a suspect who reportedly took money and the woman’s car keys before fleeing the area on foot. Police tracked down the suspect with the help of security footage, identified as Anthony Halladay, of West Valley.
Patrol officers from multiple agencies responded to assist in the search for the suspect, one of whom was an officer with the Dixie State University Police Department who spotted the suspect near an abandoned movie theater on Main Street.
Multiple units responded and located Halladay, who was taken into custody and then transported to the St. George Police Department for questioning.
Fortunately, Mitchell said, the suspect was arrested very quickly, thanks to a strong containment area that was established while officers were still arriving at the scene, a move that reduced the search area and led to the suspect being located and detained shortly after a broadcast was sent out to patrol.
The suspect was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked into jail facing one count each of aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, theft of a motor vehicle and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person.
Mitchell said that from all indications, the woman has survived her injuries, but she explained there is no “attempted murder” booking charge in Washington County, so the suspect was booked on the charge of murder due to the severity of the assault. That charge may be amended as the case undergoes review at the Washington County Attorney’s Office. (See Ed. note)
St. George News reached out to Kathy Pope, owner of Salt Lake Express, who confirmed the injured woman was an employee who was working in reservations when the incident took place. She said they have reached out to the woman’s family following the incident, which is the first of its kind for the company since they opened their doors more than 26 years ago.
“We’ve never had anything happen here, until last night,” she said.
Pope said employee and customer safety is the company’s No. 1 priority, and always has been, adding that the business is resuming normal operations and all shuttle services will continue as scheduled.
The Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Dixie State University Police Department provided assistance during the incident.
Ed. Note: Article has been updated to clarify booking procedures. 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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