Police accuse man in stolen vehicle of attempting to disarm officer during arrest

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

ST. GEORGE — An owner of a vehicle reportedly stolen from his home last weekend called police when he spotted the vehicle on Sunset Boulevard just hours after making the report. The arrest that followed was anything but typical for one of the suspects, who allegedly attempted to disarm an officer during a struggle.

In this 2018 file photo for illustrative purposes only, St. George Police officers conduct investigation on Sunset Boulevard, St. George, Utah, Jan. 30, 2018 | Photo by Mori Kessler, St. George News

Last Sunday, officers responded to a residence on North 1300 West shortly after 9:30 a.m. on a report that a vehicle was stolen sometime during the night. According to the 911 caller, the report states, a maroon Ford Fusion was stolen and a second vehicle was broken into.

The caller also told officers he last saw the Ford Fusion parked near the residence at about midnight. Officers also learned a backpack containing a black laptop, a wallet, cash and Airpods were missing – items valued at more than $1,000.

Two hours later, the Ford owner called emergency dispatch reporting they had spotted their vehicle parked on the north side of the Taco Bell parking lot on Sunset Boulevard. The caller also said there were two men sitting inside of the car.

The report stated that one of the witnesses created a ruse and attempted to speak to the suspects, but the pair attempted to walk away from the car as soon as they were approached. The caller also said that one of the suspects was wearing a black backpack that appeared to be a match to the one taken during the incident.

When the caller asked one of the suspects, the man sitting in the driver’s seat of the Ford, about the backpack, the suspect handed it over to the owner, who checked it and found it contained the items reported as stolen hours earlier.

At that point, the passenger started walking north on 1400 West, while the driver set off on foot heading in the opposite direction, and minutes later both suspects ended up near Switchpoint on North 1300 West – with the caller and another witness following close behind.

Officers arrived and detained the suspects. They said the driver was identified as 19-year-old Riley Christopher Perry-McCoy and 37-year-old Jason James Hollick as the passenger. Officers also noted damage to the front bumper of the Ford, as well as to one of the passenger side rims that was scraped as if from striking something.

According to the report, the amount of the damage to the car was estimated to be approximately $2,500.

2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only of North Dixie Drive just north of McDonalds on Sunset Boulevard, St. George, Utah, Jan. 16, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

When the two men were interviewed by officers, the report states, both denied taking the car and each blamed the other for the thefts. Both, however, admitted to being inside of the car when they were approached by the caller and the witness at Taco Bell.

While McCoy was being placed in the patrol car to be transported to jail, police said the suspect started banging his head against the cage and he was outfitted with a helmet to prevent any injuries. While officers were attempted to place him in a WRAP restraint, the suspect began fighting and yelling at police – a commotion that caught the attention of several bystanders who began congregating near the scene.

McCoy continued struggling and was kicking and biting at the officers, according to the report. At one point, the suspect attempted to disarm one of the officers by taking his handgun, but was restrained before he was able to do so.

The suspect was transported to the St. George Regional Hospital by ambulance for a medical clearance and then transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing multiple charges, including first-degree felony disarming a police officer and second-degree felony possession of a stolen vehicle.

He also faces six third-degree felony charges, including five counts of assault by a prisoner and one count of theft by receiving stolen property. He was also booked on a felony warrant out of Nephi on a case involving vehicle burglary and theft, charges the suspect pleaded guilty to in July of last year.

The charges against McCoy are still under review at the Washington County Attorney’s Office at the writing of this report.

Hollick, the passenger, was also transported to jail facing one second-degree felony count of receiving or transferring a stolen vehicle. He was formally charged and made an initial appearance on Monday, and is scheduled for a review hearing Sept. 16.

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, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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