Two men booked into the Salt Lake County Jail are accused of taking a purse and engagement ring from a woman who was trapped in her car unconscious following an accident caused by an epileptic seizure.
The 24-year-old victim told police she tightened her hand when she felt someone pulling the ring from her finger, said Murray Assistant Police Chief Paul Forbes.A resident near the cemetery called the police after seeing several people climb out of the victim's car and drive away shortly after the accident. Forbes said two men were jailed and two juvenile males referred to juvenile court as a result of the tip. Officers recovered the victim's purse from a car, but the $600 engagement ring is still missing, Forbes said.
The woman was driving south on Vine Street when she suffered the seizure and crashed into a monument in the cemetery, at 56th South and Vine, about 10:40 p.m. Tuesday, Forbes said. She was treated at Cottonwood Hospital and released.
Forbes said officers first believed they would only be able to pursue misdemeanor theft charges against the men. State statute requires there to be an element of fear or threat of force to be present for a robbery charge - something that didn't exist if the woman was unconscious.
Detective Mark Mehrer said the robbery charges were filed after the victim told police she was conscious enough to remember a man tugging the ring from her finger. She also identified a man from a photo lineup she said was the one who took her ring.
Robert Ray Johnson, 19, 1633 W. Secret Garden Place, Salt Lake City, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and is being held in lieu of $5,000 bail.
Mike Waller, 18, 259 E. 4050 South, was also booked into the jail, then was released Wednesday to Pre-trial Services.