St. George man on meth flees emergency room, assaults hospital staff

Southern Utah

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ST. GEORGE, Utah (ABC4 News) – A St. George man under the influence of methamphetamine and opioids fled the emergency room at Dixie Regional Medical Center last Thursday evening.

Investigators said Reilley Daemon Perez, 27, was receiving treatment at the hospital when he suddenly fled and ran into the emergency room parking lot with an IV still placed in his arm. A “worried” nurse notified the police officer stationed in the emergency room around 7:30 p.m, according to charging documents.

The officer and hospital staff found Perez outside standing on top of a vehicle, where he jumped off and ran westbound, ignoring their commands, the report said.

“At this point, there was no information that a crime had occurred it was just that they needed to remove the IV,” the documents state.

Perez then ran up to a red Cadillac car that was parked and unoccupied and “hit the driver front window very hard with his elbow in what appeared to be him making an attempt to enter the vehicle.” The window did not break, so Perez continued running.

Police said Perez then tried to steal a car with a small child in the backseat, yelling “Go Go Go!” to the female driver, who began to hit him and yell at him to get out of the car, according to charging documents.

“The male then continued to run through the parking lot. He was located by 2 staff members hiding behind a car and [Perez] got up and started to yell at them and take swings at them,” the report states.

Investigators said eventually a taser was used to facilitate Perez’s arrest, and he was taken into custody at Purgatory Correctional Facility without incident.

Perez was charged with intoxication, assault of a health-care worker, criminal mischief, robbery, and failure to comply to the command of an officer. He also had an active warrant for his arrest.

ABC4’s Katie Karalis met with St. George police officers who said they’re taking steps to keep hospital staff and patients safe.

St George Police Capt. Mike Giles said emergency room staff have expressed concerns with how volatile patients can be.

“Historically, there’s a stabbing and a friend drops the victim off at the hospital and drives away or there’s experiences where maybe drug seekers show up looking for narcotics,” said Giles.

Giles said SGPD is working to station five officers at the hospital 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by February or March. Currently, one or two police officers have been stationed at Dixie Regional Medical Center’s emergency department, which Giles called a “successful integration.”

“Officers working the emergency room since they’ve been positioned there will see people walk in, recognize the officer’s there, turn around and leave without seeking any resources,” Giles added.

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