Purgatory inmate floods jail cell twice, charged with 2 felonies

ST. GEORGE – A Purgatory Correctional Facility inmate, in jail on charges of failing to register as a sex offender, disorderly conduct and threatening violence, has been newly charged in two separate alleged incidents of damaging the jail by intentionally flooding his cell.

At about 10 a.m. on July 18, a deputy was conducting a bunk inspection in a section of the jail when he noticed water flowing from under the door of one of the cells, according to a probable cause statement filed by the deputy.

Stephen Ray Vaughn, of Hurricane, Utah, booking photo posted July 20, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff's bookings, St. George News
Stephen Ray Vaughn, of Hurricane, Utah, booking photo posted July 20, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s bookings, St. George News

The deputy looked into the cell and saw Stephen Ray Vaughn, the occupant of the cell, “sliding across the cell in what appeared to be approximately 2 inches of water,” according to the statement.

“Inmate Vaughn was pushing the water out of his cell into the dayroom area,” the statement said.

Vaughn was also throwing his cup against the cell walls and doors and screaming obscenities.

“Inmate Vaughn was also spitting at the window of his cell as we looked through it,” the deputy said in the statement.

The quantity of water coming out of Vaughn’s cell was substantial enough that it entered the other cells near his.

The deputy turned off the water to the cell, and workers were brought in to assist with cleanup. After the water was cleaned up, the deputy and another officer offered to remove Vaughn from his cell so he could change his clothes and the cell could be cleaned, the statement said. Vaughn refused to be removed from his cell.

Vaughn was charged with a third-degree felony for causing damage to the jail in connection with the incident.

In a similar incident on July 20, at approximately 6:10 p.m., deputies were once again notified that Vaughn was flooding his jail cell, according to a probable cause statement filed in connection with that incident.

A deputy responded to Vaughn’s cell.

I observed him (Vaughn) flushing his toilet repeatedly, while it was clogged,” the deputy wrote in the statement.

Again, the water was turned off to Vaughn’s cell, and the deputy placed blankets to contain the water flow.

The deputy asked Vaughn why he’d flooded his cell.

“He told me he wanted to be released,” the deputy said in the statement. “I asked if he had a bad day at court? He expressed that he did, and then his comments became derogatory and vulgar. I ended the dialogue at that time.”

Vaughn was charged with an additional third-degree felony for again damaging the jail.

Vaughn was previously arrested in May for urinating in front of approximately 21 students and in front of several classroom windows at a Hurricane school.

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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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.


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  • fun bag July 26, 2015 at 3:17 pm

    he was probably trying to flush himself down the toilet

  • beentheredonethat July 26, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    When they built the place, they should have installed bathtubs. The guy just wanted a bubble bath. Is that so bad?

  • NotSoFast July 26, 2015 at 5:52 pm

    Does sanctuary cities have accommodating facilities to send this downtrodden gentleman to. Or, How about Sheriff Joe in Arizona?

  • Harold S. July 26, 2015 at 7:51 pm

    Like father Like son!!!!!

  • Free Parking July 26, 2015 at 9:20 pm

    Yeah Harold you should know

  • sagemoon July 27, 2015 at 9:16 am

    Pee, water…I think this guy has a fetish for getting wet.

  • Mean Momma July 27, 2015 at 9:38 am

    He looks pretty proud of himself….. Ugly ass

  • ladybugavenger July 27, 2015 at 11:27 am

    If you want to get out of jail, racking up 2 more felonies is not the way!

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