Sex offender transported to hospital, then jail after farmer finds him naked in a Washington City field

Stock image by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A St. George man is facing felony lewdness and failing to register as a sex offender after he was found lying naked in a field in Washington City on Monday morning. He was transported and admitted into the hospital with hypothermia and more than two days later was booked into jail.

David Nicholas King, 52, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Jan. 28, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The incident began Monday when officers responded to a report of a suspicious vehicle in the area of Sandia Road in Washington Fields. The callers also told emergency dispatch that the car looked out of place and several doors were left open on the vehicle, according to charging documents filed with the court.

Officers arrived and found a green passenger car. A registration check came back showing the car was registered to a 52-year-old St. George resident David Nicholas King. Officers also discovered that King was a felon with an active warrant for failing to register as a sex offender.

Inside of the car officers noticed a pair of men’s sandals and clothing on the floor and the car keys on the passenger seat.

While searching the area, officers were flagged down by a farmer near east 2000 South who reported he was making the rounds to feed his cows when he came upon a man “lying on the ground completely naked” in one of his fields.

The farmer went on to tell police that the suspect “was just watching him and it freaked him out,” the officer noted in the report.

Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News when officers arrived at the field they saw the nude man lying on his back covering his genitals with his hands.

King turned on his side as soon as they approached. Officers then noticed a blue substance around the man’s mouth. When they attempted to help King to his feet he was unable to stand. They also noted the suspect was “conscious but not making any sense,” and was acting as if he “was in another dimension,” as he began looking around quickly and appeared as if he was frightened by something, even though there was nothing there, the officer wrote.

Shortly after an ambulance was dispatched to the scene, King was transported to St. George Regional Hospital for evaluation and treatment.

Officers then learn from medical staff that King’s body temperature had dropped to 84 degrees, which was 15 degrees lower than the normal 98 degrees, which the report states was concerning for attending physicians who admitted the suspect into hospital. According to the medical staff, the officer wrote, it was surprising that King had not already suffered from cardiac arrest.

Meanwhile, officers continued working the scene; and while canvassing the area where the vehicle was found abandoned, Williams said, they were approached by several residents who reported seeing the suspect go through a number of backyards naked, with one report stating he was seen peering in the window of one of the homes.

David Nicholas King, 47, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, circa 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Later, officers received surveillance footage from one of the residents who did not witness the incident but found it later while going through the doorbell camera footage.

The man was still nude when the surveillance footage captured him following a resident who entered the home and shut the door, which Williams said was fortunate for the homeowner who had automatic deadbolt locks that activated as soon as the door closed.

The suspect continued towards the home and then masturbated on the front porch in view of the camera and then left.

Back at the hospital, King was treated and released on Wednesday. When officers caught up to him a second time, they arrested him and he was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility facing two third-degree felonies for lewdness by a sex offender and failing to register. He also faces misdemeanor possession charge.

The lewdness charge was enhanced since King was already a non-compliant sex offender who had two prior felony lewdness convictions, in which he was found naked in a public place with his genitals and buttocks exposed.

One conviction involved a 2015 case that went to trial, and the defendant was found guilty by a jury. He was sentenced to serve up to five years in Utah State Prison on Dec. 16, 2015.

In a second case filed in 2008, King was sentenced to serve up to five years in Utah State Prison on felony lewdness and other charges. He was released in January 2015. Four month later he would be arrested for a second time for the same offense and return to prison, according to court records.

Following Thursday’s arrest, the officer submitted a bail request stating that King posed a substantial danger to the public and asked that he be held without bail, a request the court approved and the order was signed by District Judge Jeffrey C. Wilcox on Friday morning.

King remains in custody without bail.

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, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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