St. George man arrested after allegedly striking 7-year-old child at park

Daniel Harley Simmons. Photo Courtesy: Washington County Jail

ST. GEORGE, Utah, March 9, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A St. George man has been arrested after he allegedly struck a 7-year-old child, who was not known to him, at a park.

A probable cause statement from the 5th District Court of Washington County said Daniel Harley Simmons, 25, is facing charges of:

  • Possession with intent to distribute a controlled substance, a third-degree felony
  • Child abuse, a class A misdemeanor
  • Tampering with evidence, a class A misdemeanor
  • Failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Interference with arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor

On March 4 at 6:38 p.m., the arresting officer was dispatched to a disorderly person at the JC Snow Park at 900 South 400 East in St. George, the statement said.

“We had multiple callers from the park who said the male was an adult and he punched a 7-year-old juvenile in the head,” the statement said. “There were multiple witnesses in the park who confirmed he assaulted the juvenile. They described the male as riding a green bicycle, wearing a backpack.”

The arresting officer located the suspect riding his bicycle away from the scene northbound on 300 East.

“I pulled behind the male and turned on my red and blue emergency lights,” the statement said. “He looked back at me and immediately began to ride away from me. I turned on my emergency sirens to get him to stop. He stood up on his bike and began to pedal faster away from me.”

The suspect then turned east onto 600 South and turned into the parking lot of a local business and onto the top floor of a parking garage. Simmons then jumped over the side of the parking garage and fell approximately 20 feet to the floor. The officer then found the suspect hiding behind a shed.

He then ran from the officer, and the officer pursued the male on foot, north across 600 South and into a medical center parking lot.

“I drew my Taser and instructed him to lay on the ground,” the statement said. “He reached into his pocket and pulled a pipe out. He threw the pipe across the fence and into the roadway. I later found the pipe, which contained burnt marijuana. At this time, the male complied.”

Simmons was then placed in handcuffs.

“During a search of his personal incident to arrest, I located a hidden baggie, which was stuffed in his underwear,” the statement said. “I opened the bag and found it to contain multiple small bags of marijuana. These bags of marijuana were all individually packaged to contain a similar amount of green leafy marijuana. I have been notified by multiple people recently that he is distributing marijuana and sells it to kids.”

A search of his backpack located three additional packages containing marijuana edibles.

“Officers responded to the park and spoke with the children on the scene,” the statement said. “The child said Daniel was spinning him around and when he wanted him to stop, he pinned the child to the ground. He said, Daniel then pushed his hand against his neck and squeezed applying a pressure point. The child said it hurt. The child and the child’s parents want charges pressed against Daniel for child abuse.”

Simmons was transported to the hospital and received medical clearance. While at the hospital, the officer read his Miranda rights to him. He said he was not willing to speak to the officer without an attorney present. Simmons said the child yelled a profanity at him. He said he went up to the child, spun him, and then “put him down,” the statement said. He then changed his story and said the child ran up to him and punched him and he was pushed and fell into him.

Simmons was transported to the Washington County Jail, where he is being held without bail.


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