ST. GEORGE, Utah, July 19, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A St. George man has been arrested after he allegedly entered a Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints completely nude Sunday morning.
A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of St. George said the suspect is facing charges, including:
- Lewdness with prior offense involving a child, a third-degree felony
- Assault against a police officer, a class A misdemeanor
- Lewdness, a class B misdemeanor
- Interference with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor
The statement says that Sunday at approximately 9:45 a.m., the man drove his vehicle onto the lawn at the LDS Church at 540 N. Westridge Drive in St. George. He got out of the vehicle wearing only underwear, the statement said.
He “stripped off his underwear, and while completely nude, removed various items from the trunk of his Jeep, scattering them on the church lawn,” the statement said. “Multiple witnesses stated they were terrified there was about the be a shooting at the church.”
He “entered the church and slammed a child’s car seat onto a table and knocked the sacrament tray and water to the floor.”
There were approximately 100 people in the church, both adults and children of various ages, the statement said. The police department dispatch received multiple calls about the disturbance and the call takers could allegedly hear the man shouting in the background, the statement said. He left the church prior to officer’s arrival, leaving tire marks on the lawn.
Approximately 10 minutes later, officers located the man at the residence that he shares with his mother near the church. The Jeep described by witnesses was parked in the driveway and the hood was still hot to the touch, the statement said. On the ground outside of the residence was a large framed photograph that had been thrown to the ground, breaking the glass. The photograph belonged to the her son, his mother said.
“Officers knocked on the door of the residence,” the statement said. The man “exited the house shouting and cursing” and “shoved one officer.”
“He was placed under arrest. He continued to shout, curse, and struggle against officers until handcuffs were applied.”
The man then allegedly stood on the sidewalk in front of his house shouting and swearing, and used “homophobic slurs” directed at the officer that searched him, the statement said.
The suspect was read his Miranda rights and invoked his right to remain silent.
He was transported to Washington County Detention Center, where he is being held without bail.