California man in custody after dragging, injuring St. George carjacking victim

Southern Utah News

ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4) – A California man is now in custody after allegedly dragging and injuring a St.George carjacking victim.

According to court documents, officers were called to respond to 1216 South Bluff Street for a vehicle theft in progress.

As the suspect attempted to allegedly steal the vehicle, arresting documents say a Maverik employee came out of the store and attempted to take the keys out of the ignition from the vehicle that the suspect was attempting to steal.

“[The suspect] started to drive the vehicle away and hit [the Maverick employee] with the vehicle door as a result,” arresting documents reveal.

Officers say as they were en route, they were informed that the alleged suspect, 27-year-old Mario Yanes had gained control of the vehicle from the victim and was headed northbound on Bluff Street.

According to the St.George Police Department, Yanes was then located during a traffic stop and immediately taken into custody. Officers say after Yanes was given his Miranda, he admitted to “taking the vehicle knowing that it belonged to the victim” and “admitted to assaulting the victim by punching him and then taking his vehicle.”

“It was also reported that the victim may have been dragged briefly and injured by the car as Mario was driving away,” shares arresting officers. “As a result of the robbery, [the victim] suffered various cuts and bruises, abrasions, road rash, and a large knot on the side of his head.”

According to a court affidavit, the victim was then transported to the hospital to have his injuries tended to.

Officers say Yanes “demonstrated a willful and wanton disregard for public safety that evening” and “was very close to seriously injuring or killing two people while he stole the vehicle.”

“[Yanes] displayed a lack of sound judgement and clear thinking and believed that [the victim] wanted to murder him and stated that was the reason why he felt he needed to assault [the victim] and steal his car. He also showed a complete lack of public safety when he almost ran over an innocent party trying to assist [the victim],” they add.

Arresting documents say 27-year-old Mario Yanes currently faces charges for aggravated robbery, theft, and assault.

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