A Moab man pleaded not guilty last week to numerous felony and misdemeanor charges stemming from an alleged high-speed drunk driving incident in Spanish Valley.
Patrick James Covington, 31, waived his right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday, Oct. 10, and 7th District Judge Lyle R. Anderson scheduled a one-day jury trial for Dec. 6.
The Grand County Attorney’s Office has charged Covington with third-degree felony counts of disarming a peace officer and damaging a jail, as well as three class A misdemeanor counts of assault against a peace officer and seven other misdemeanor offenses.
According to a Moab City Police officer’s report on the incident, Covington was traveling at speeds of 80 miles per hour on Spanish Valley Drive on Thursday, Sept. 28.
When the reporting officer arrived at the scene, he saw a Grand County Sheriff’s deputy struggling with Covington; he ran toward them as the deputy was putting cuffs on the suspect.
Covington repeatedly continued to struggle with the deputy and the officer, according to the report on the incident, but eventually, he told them that he would calm down if he could kiss his “wife.” The deputy agreed, so the man’s fiancee was allowed to hug and kiss him.
After Covington was detained inside a vehicle, he refused to let the deputy put his seat belt on. When the deputy went to speak with Covington’s fiancee, he “snapped” and began to “violently” butt his head inside the vehicle’s cage, while kicking and yelling, the officer reported.
The officer warned Covington that he would be charged with a felony if he continued, but as his fiancee came over to try to calm him down, he began to yell at her, telling her not to say anything. The officer told the woman that she was a witness to a DUI, but Covington kept screaming that authorities had no right to speak with her, and alleged that his fiancee had been drinking, the officer reported.
Covington continued to scream, kick and flail around inside the vehicle, and after his mother arrived to try to calm him down, he reportedly threatened to headbutt the officer and deputy. At one point, he allegedly lunged toward the officer.
His fiancee and mother kept telling him to stop, and said that he was making things worse for himself. But the officer alleged that Covington reportedly continued to cause problems – even after authorities shackled his feet and hands together. While Covington was shackled in the officer’s vehicle, he repeatedly kicked the doors and windows so hard that the vehicle was shaking, the officer reported.
As the officer was driving Covington to the Grand County Jail, he heard the sound of a car window falling, so he stopped the vehicle and called dispatch. Covington was transferred into another vehicle and transported to the Grand County Jail, where he allegedly told authorities that he has AIDS. The officer interpreted the comment to be “almost like a threat” because of the blood that Covington left behind in the vehicle’s cage.
According to the officer’s report, one of the vehicle’s doors will need to be replaced in its entirety because Covington allegedly bent it and broke internal parts of the door window.
In addition to the main charges against him, Covington also stands accused of class B misdemeanor counts of interference with a peace officer/resisting arrest; driving a motor vehicle while his driving privileges were suspended; “alcohol-restricted driver”; “ignition interlock required”; and reckless driving. He has also been charged with class C misdemeanor intoxication, and disorderly conduct.
Under the law, he is presumed to be innocent unless or until a court convicts him of any charges.
Patrick Covington accused of disarming, assaulting authorities