Beer thief to officers: ‘I want 3 square meals a day’

ST. GEORGE – A five-finger-discount beer run escalated Saturday night when one of the alleged perpetrators in the theft ran from St. George Police and later assaulted two officers as they attempted to arrest him.

Levi Ray Billsie, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff's Office, St. George New
Levi Ray Billsie, of St. George, Utah, booking photo posted Oct. 11, 2014 | Photo courtesy of Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George New

Shortly after 10:30 p.m. Saturday, St. George Police officers responded to a report of a retail theft at Albertsons grocery store, 745 N. Dixie Drive in St. George. Two men allegedly stole beer from the store and were then seen running north on Dixie Downs Road.

Responding officers caught up with one of the suspects and were able to detain him. The second man, Levi Billsie, continued fleeing from police.

“The second male fled on foot northbound, dropping the stolen beer that had been taken from Albertsons,” St. George Police Officer David McDaniel wrote in a probable cause statement supporting Billsie’s arrest.

McDaniel unsuccessfully searched for Billsie and then returned to the place where two other officers had detained the second suspect. As McDaniel pulled up, he saw a man walking who matched the description Albertsons employees had given officers of the second suspect. Another officer also saw the man, later identified as Billsie, and began approaching him while McDaniel got back into his patrol car and pulled into the roadway. The second officer yelled for Billsie to stop, but Billsie ran north on Dixie Downs Road, according to the statement.

“I activated my emergency lights and drove towards their location, at 1040 N. Dixie Downs,” McDaniel wrote in the statement. “As I got closer the male ran into the street in front of a moving vehicle, causing them to slam on their brakes. The male continued to run.”

McDaniel and another officer pursued Billsie, following him to a housing complex in the 1840 West area. Billsie began jumping a fence into the backyard of a residence.

“I stopped my siren and yelled ‘St. George Police! You are under arrest!’” McDaniel said in the statement. “He (Billsie) continued over the fence. I observed him run behind a shed in the backyard, then heard a loud crash as if he had fallen.”

McDaniel and the other officer obtained permission from a neighbor to get an elevated vantage point into the yard, where they saw Billsie hiding under a table. They then attempted to get permission from the homeowner to enter the yard, but no one answered the door.

“I returned to the fence and observed the male (Billsie) had not moved,” McDaniel said in the statement. “He was given commands to show us his hands and not move. He refused to show us his hands.”

The second officer entered the yard and attempted to handcuff Billsie. Billsie refused to answer the officer and kept yelling, “What took you so long?” according to the statement. Billsie resisted being handcuffed, so McDaniel broke a portion of the fence, entered the yard, handcuffed Billsie and made him stand up.

“He refused to provide his name and said over and over, ‘My name is John Doe, I plead the fifth,’” McDaniel wrote in the statement. “He would not say anything else besides ‘what took you so long’ and ‘I want 3 square meals a day.’”

McDaniel helped Billsie through the hole he had created in the fence and took Billsie to the patrol car. Billsie was then searched, and five allegedly stolen beers were found in his pockets along with a Nevada identification card showing him to be Levi Billsie.

Billsie continued telling officers that his name was John Doe; his breath smelled strongly of alcohol and his eyes were bloodshot and glassy, according to the statement.

McDaniel asked Billsie to get into the back seat of the patrol vehicle, but Billsie refused, telling the officers he would fight them first before consenting to enter the vehicle.

“Levi was asked several times and continued to refuse,” McDaniel said in the statement. “Officers attempted to put Levi in the backseat. He started fighting officers.”

Billsie head-butted one officer and kicked him in the shin, chest and sternum. McDaniel moved in to assist and Billsie then kicked McDaniel in the leg and chest. Billsie continued fighting until the officers had him secured in a seat belt.

“When the seatbelt went on he immediately stopped fighting,” McDaniel wrote in the statement. “Levi stated he just ‘had to get his aggression out because he had not been in a fight in a while.’ Levi was hobbled based on the amount of fighting he had done with officers.”

Billsie broke McDaniel’s wristwatch during the struggle, according to the statement. The watch was valued at $100.

Before leaving the scene, officers repaired the fence through which McDaniel had entered the yard.

Billsie was transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility without further incident. He was booked on one count of failing to stop at an officer’s command, two counts of assaulting a police officer, and one count of retail theft, all class A misdemeanors; one class B misdemeanor each for failure to disclose identity, interfering with arrest, criminal mischief and trespassing; and one class C misdemeanor for intoxication.

The other man who was with Billsie at the time the alleged theft took place was released by police due to lack of evidence that he had been involved in the theft, St. George Police Capt. Mike Giles said.

At the time of this publication, Billsie remains in custody on $23,790 bail.

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  • DAVE RABBITT October 16, 2014 at 8:12 pm

    By all means, St. George City Council – move forward and build Joule Plaza, with 129 apartments… Invite more diversity into this once placid area and then wonder “why” odd things like this, happen. Send this …* to MCSO Tent City and perhaps he’ll learn about earning three squares, a day!
    Ed. ellipsis: …*

  • tinmanfree October 16, 2014 at 8:36 pm

    These officers are to be commended for going the extra mile to respect the property rights of others in their pursuit; quite different from the SLC officer who jumped a fence into a backyard without notice or permission for something far less (a possible missing person in the general neighborhood) and shot the owners dog for doing what the dog was supposed to do – protect his owner and his property. Thank you SGPD.

  • Not buying it October 16, 2014 at 11:11 pm

    I want to see the receipt for the officers $100 watch. Maybe then I’ll believe some of their story. I’m not buying the $100.

  • Tia October 17, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Officer McDaniel (aka ‘Glasses’) has an amazing reputation for Protecting and Serving. He is an outstanding officer who is very fair. However, he is most definitely NOT one to mess with, fight with or lie to. His wits, tactical talent and skills will win every time. He is a class act and SGPD is lucky to have him!

  • Mary October 17, 2014 at 6:45 am

    If only there was video of the event ,
    It could be used for a ” This is your brain on beer ” campaign .
    Beer . . . tastes so good , makes you soooooo stupid !

  • Mary Bemis October 17, 2014 at 10:37 am

    Just another punk kid, wanting something for nothing, after all he is entitled to it. If he spent as much time looking for a job, any job, as he did in stealing beer of all things, running from the police….he could provide himself with 3 meals a day. Just another loser living off of the tax payers not because he has to, but because he wants to.

  • Vietnamvet October 17, 2014 at 12:07 pm

    This punk is from Nevada. Probably given a bus ticket to Utah in leu of Nevada jail time . Harry Reid likes to send all the bad apples they breed their to Utah And leave the southern boarders open for more.
    Praise to our brave cops for showing restraint when arresting this scum.
    Read him his rights hoping he will keep his pie hole shut.

  • Koolaid October 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm

    He can’t be from Dixie. If he was from Dixie, instead of three square meals a day, he’d ask for a dog or horse three times a day or three dogs or horses a day.

    • FYI October 17, 2014 at 1:28 pm

      Which is your favorite.
      Sounds like you have lots of experience

  • Love one another October 17, 2014 at 1:11 pm

    What happen to “innocent until proven guilty”. Have we all not made some choices in our life that we have regretted? I would like to think how can we judge so easily when we no very little about this person, that clearly has some kind of addiction issues. I would like to think that if it was your son or daughter people would be more understanding and kind.
    “something to think about”

    • Vietnamvet October 17, 2014 at 2:07 pm

      Your right , I’m sorry . The witness and cops where wrong. The poor boys are just misunderstood . They where running from Albertsons with their pockets full of the beer their mother gave them and thought the cops where cop impersonators trying to steal there beer.

  • Love one another October 17, 2014 at 5:11 pm

    i’m not saying this guy didn’t mess up. All i’m saying is this forum seems to have forgotten don’t we all sin.? Some people on here seem to want to get a rope and find a tree. I can’t judge like that when i’m so imperfect however if your perfect throw the rope.

  • Zonkerb October 17, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    Oh yeah another future politician

  • Koolaid October 20, 2014 at 3:08 pm

    Next city council member, if the churchhood absolves him of any wrongdoing

  • sagemoon October 21, 2014 at 8:46 am

    I know this kid. He’s a scum bag.

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