A woman wearing only a white towel ran into a gas station in Utah “very upset and visibly shaking,” officers wrote in court documents.
She asked the clerks for help, explaining that her boyfriend had just tried to kill her in a hotel room, according to a probable cause affidavit.
The woman told police she escaped from the Days Inn across the street in St. George after she had an argument with her boyfriend at a bar on Sept. 7, according to police.
Joseph Folland, 36, allegedly beat the woman with his fists when they got to the room, restrained her hands with duct-tape and taped her mouth shut after she cried out for help, Tiffany Atkin, a spokeswoman for the St. George Police Department, told McClatchy News.
Folland pulled a knife on the woman and held it to her throat, saying he was going to kill her, court documents state. He allegedly threatened the victim to keep her from testifying against him in another criminal case in which Folland is potentially facing 20 years in prison for kidnapping and assault, according to the documents.
At some point, the woman lost consciousness and when she came to, Folland was dragging her into the bathroom where he tried to drown her in the tub, Atkin said. The woman told him she needed to use the bathroom, at which point she escaped, according to police.
Police observed “contusions on her face, neck and left arm,” including a “discolored (reddish/bluish) and nearly swollen shut” right eye, according to the probable cause affidavit.
Folland fled the hotel room wearing only shorts and was found two days later after police posted information asking for the public’s help in finding him, Gephardt Daily reported.
He was booked into the Washington County Jail on charges of aggravated assault with the use of a weapon, witness tampering, giving false information to a police officer and possession of a weapon as a convicted felon, according to the jail’s website.