St. George Police officer interrupts violent assault while on patrol near Mall Drive

ST. GEORGE — The violent assault of a woman was intervened by a St. George Police officer who was driving through an area off Mall Drive late Wednesday night when he saw a man choking and beating a woman in the face.

Stock image | St. George News

Shortly after 10 p.m. on Wednesday, a patrol officer was driving through the area of North 1300 East when he heard a man outside yelling near a residence off in the distance. As the officer made his way to where the sound was coming from, he noticed a man “screaming in the face of a female,” according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.

The officer pulled over and ran toward the couple just as the man grabbed the woman’s shoulders and started shaking her and then punched the woman’s arms as she attempted to block the assault, the report states.

The officer was still running when he reportedly saw the suspect punch the woman in the face with a closed fist before slamming her to the ground and pinning her against the ground by pushing his forearm against her neck.

As he was closing in, the officer continued to yell commands, orders the suspect reportedly failed to comply with. With just a few feet to go, the report states, the officer pulled his taser from the holster, which is when the suspect finally looked up, jumped to his feet and started to run.

But instead of escaping, the suspect lost his footing, tripped and fell to the ground. His attempt to get back to his feet failed when the officer jumped over a pile of trash and pushed the suspect to the ground, where he was then handcuffed and taken into custody.

The suspect was identified as 45-year-old Kenneth Kimber of St. George.

When backup arrived the officer spoke to the woman who said she believed the suspect was trying to kill her when he pushed his arm against her neck and held it there, constricting her breathing, according to the report. She said the two had been involved in a relationship in the past, but that Kimber did not live at the residence. When she told him to leave she said he refused, which led to the altercation outside.

While speaking to Kimber, the suspect told officers he did not live at the residence and acknowledged that he refused to leave the residence when he was told to, but provided no further details, the report states.

When officers ran a background check, they discovered the suspect had an extensive criminal history dating back more than 20 years that included convictions for stalking, criminal trespass, evading, as well as a case filed in 2018 in which the suspect pleaded guilty to aggravated assault for reportedly choking a woman when he was told to leave the property. He was convicted of the charge three months later and served 21 days in jail.

Kimber was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing felony aggravated assault, as well as criminal trespassing and failing to stop at command of police – each a misdemeanor. The suspect is being held without bail and is scheduled to appear in 5th District Court for a bail hearing on Tuesday.

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.

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

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