ST. GEORGE — A West Valley man was arrested Thursday and accused of hitting a woman in the head with a decorative nail ball, then stabbing her after stealing money from the St George business where she was working.
The 26-year-old St. George woman suffered serious injuries but is expected to survive, police said.
About 1 a.m. Thursday, police responded to a call of a stabbing at the Salt Lake Express, 805 S. Bluff Street. The woman had called 911 and reported that a man stabbed her after taking money from the business, as well as taking her purse and car keys. She said the man also dragged her to a back room of the business and stabbed her in the neck and hands, and she thought he was going to kill her, according to a police booking affidavit.
When officers arrived, they immediately provided aid to stop the bleeding of the woman before taking her to a hospital.
The woman told officers that the man attempted to steal her car, but the car didn't work, so he fled on foot.
Police set up a search area near the business and used K-9 units to locate Anthony Michael Halladay, 53, nearby. Halladay flagged down officers, who said it appeared he wanted to turn himself in. He made "several spontaneous utterances about how he stabbed a girl" and was arrested, the affidavit states.
Police later reviewed surveillance footage from the business that they say shows a man matching Halladay's description watching the woman while she is on her cellphone. The man then took a decoration that appeared to be "some type of nail ball with sharp ends" off of a shelf at the business, according to the arrest report.
Police say Halladay then came up behind the woman and hit her multiple times in the head with the nail ball. He also stomped on her head and kicked her in the face, the affidavit says. The woman then pointed to the cash register "as to get the male subject what he wanted," and he allegedly took cash from the register while holding the woman by the hair and not allowing her to move.
The surveillance footage then shows the man dragging the woman down the hall and into another room, police say, and also shows him swinging his arm at something, appearing to stab the victim. The man then went back to the front office area and went through drawers, according to the affidavit. The woman is seen closing the door of the back room after seeing that the man was still in the building.
After they encountered Halladay nearby, police reported finding some cash in a bush that appeared to come from the business that had blood on it. Halladay also told police he dropped the knife and the woman's belongings in a nearby parking lot, and police found the knife, as well as the victim's cellphone, keys and wallet in the parking lot, the affidavit states.
Police said they also found the woman's car still running with the passenger door open in front of the business.
"Also according to officers on scene, Anthony made a comment that the knife 'went into her neck like butter,'" police wrote in the affidavit.
Halladay, of West Valley City, was booked in Purgatory Correctional Facility for investigation of attempted aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, theft and possession of a dangerous weapon.