Suspect in jail facing felony robbery charge following alleged attack on 700 South

Stock image | Photo by Carl Ballou/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News.

ST. GEORGE — A suspect currently on pretrial release on two open assault cases was arrested Thursday evening and booked into jail on a felony robbery charge following an altercation in which the suspect reportedly attacked an individual in St. George and demanded his money.

File photo for illustrative purposes only of the intersection of 700 South and 200 East in St. George, Utah, Feb. 19, 2021 Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

The arrest stems from an incident reported shortly after 8 p.m. when officers were dispatched to East 700 South in St. George on a report of an assault in progress and arrived to find a suspect, later identified as 41-year-old William Lucas, who was being detained by two bystanders.

According to charging documents filed with the court, the suspect was handcuffed as officers worked to control the scene that also involved another individual who was injured and being treated by paramedics.

At the time of the incident, Lucas told officers he was riding in a vehicle with his sister when he said she pointed to a man on the street and said he had stolen $300 from her.

When the vehicle stopped, Lucas said he got out and “tried to get the money back,” the officer noted in the report.

When asked how he went about doing that, the answer was that “it didn’t matter,” and when officers asked for the sister’s last name, Lucas said he didn’t know. He then went on to explain she was not a biological sister, but said the two were close.

When officers asked for the woman’s phone number so they could contact her, since she was no longer at the scene, Lucas said she didn’t have a phone. The suspect became agitated at that point and he demanded to go to jail, telling officers “he knew how this would end.”

The report also states that while officers were speaking to Lucas, they could smell a strong odor of alcohol and noted his eyes were glassy and his speech was slurred. The suspect was given a breathalyzer test that revealed a blood alcohol content of .167, more than three times the legal limit in Utah.

Once the suspect started raising his voice, Lucas was placed in the back of the patrol vehicle while officer spoke to the man being treated by emergency medical personnel.

According to the report, the man told officers he was walking across the street when a red passenger car pulled up and a man he didn’t recognize got out and demanded the man hand over any property he had, to which the man replied by saying he didn’t even have a dollar.

2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only of Gold Cross ambulance responding to scene at the intersection of 700 South and 900 East, St. George, Utah, Sept. 22, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

The man said the suspect then attacked him, threw him to the ground and continued striking him in the face and demanding money. The altercation continued in the middle of the street until two bystanders witnessing the scuffle intervened and held the suspect down until the first officer arrived.

The report also states the man had blood on his face and appeared to have sustained an injury to his jaw.

The suspect was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was booked into jail on second-degree felony robbery, since Lucas reportedly used force in an attempt to deprive the victim of his property. He was also booked on misdemeanor intoxication.

Lucas was formally charged with the offenses the following day.

The most recent case is one of four open cases filed against the suspect in which a physical altercation was involved, including a case filed in Iron County on June 17, the details of which were not included in court records.

The suspect was on a pretrial release on that case when the incident on Thursday took place, as well as on an assault case filed in March that is still moving through the courts.

The charges were filed in connection with an incident reported March 22 in Iron County when officers were dispatched to a call reporting that a man had been struck in the face by the suspect.

Officers arrived and spoke to the reporting party who said Lucas had been staying in his van with him when the two got into an argument, at which point the suspect struck the van owner in the face, he said, and then broke out one of the van’s windows with a baseball bat, according to court records.

The owner of the van also sustained injuries to his head. Lucas fled prior to officers arriving and was found on state Route 14 shortly thereafter. He was arrested at that time and booked into jail on misdemeanor assault, criminal mischief and intoxication. He is scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference in April of next year.

Lucas also has a felony assault case filed In June of last year after officers found him lying in the grass and bleeding from what appeared to be a fractured nose at a park in Cedar City on the evening of June 16, 2020.

The suspect became combative as paramedics were attempting to tend to his wounds, and when officers intervened he spit on one of the officers and attempted to kick him in the head. Seconds later the suspect kicked the officer’s chest, breaking the body-cam mounting on his vest as the suspect did so.

Once fully restrained, the suspect was transported to the hospital and then to jail where he was booked on assault, disorderly conduct, propelling bodily fluids and other misdemeanor charges. Lucas was sentenced to serve 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to the charges, and after a series of warrants and probation violations the case remains open at this time.

Following Thursday’s incident the suspect was formally charged with the offenses and made an initial appearance in 5th District Court on Friday.

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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