ST. GEORGE — A man arrested in what started as a misdemeanor DUI stop and escalated into a felony robbery of a juvenile during the driver’s field sobriety test recently was sentenced.

Booking photo shows the defendant Luca Bryan Fresh, 38, of Washington City who was sentenced on second-degree felony robbery and misdemeanor DUI charges during a hearing held in 5th District Court in St. George, Oct. 25, 2023 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

The defendant, Luca Bryan Fresh, 38, of Washington City, appeared before District Judge Jay Winward for sentencing on second-degree felony robbery and misdemeanor DUI, charges the defendant pleaded guilty to during a resolution hearing in December 2023. One misdemeanor charge of furnishing alcohol to a minor was dismissed in exchange for a guilty plea.

The case was filed following an Oct. 25, 2023, incident on East Tabernacle Street. A patrol officer responded to a report of an intoxicated person allegedly attempting to drive away in a vehicle. The officer arrived to find the man, later identified as Fresh, exiting the car through the passenger’s side door. He appeared to be wobbling and struggling to walk, according to charging documents filed at the time of the arrest.

The officer also noticed what appeared to be an open beer can near the gutter of the street. When Fresh was asked to perform a field sobriety test, he was unable to walk without falling over, the report alleges.

It was during the sobriety test that a juvenile approached and told officers he had been assaulted by Fresh, who the teen said was the driver of a taxi service he had been using for the night. The minor told officers the assault took place once they arrived at the location on Tabernacle following a trip to Mesquite, Nevada.

Fresh reportedly started to fight with the teen as soon as he stopped the car and chased the teen down the street and continued to assault him as he struggled to get away.

Officers also learned the teen’s backpack and cellphone were reportedly taken during the altercation — items later found during a search of Fresh following his arrest. A breathalyzer test revealed the defendant had a blood alcohol level of .2, more than 4 times the legal limit of .05% in Utah. He was then transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility on multiple charges as listed in the report.

During the Feb. 6, prosecutor Glen Cella represented the state and Douglas Terry represented Fresh.

The prison term of 1-15 years was suspended and he was ordered to serve 180 days in jail on the misdemeanor charge, with credit for the 104 days already served. Fresh was placed on three years’ probation with Adult Probation and Parole and ordered to pay a $1,436 fine.

He was also ordered to complete a substance abuse evaluation and recommended treatment, and the court also ordered that Fresh remain in the family home until he could enter a treatment program. He was ordered to have an interlock device installed on any vehicle he drives — a requirement that will remain in effect until February 2027.

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.

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