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Kamas man charged with hate crimes

Published October 18, 2012 3:05 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Kamas man assaulted two of his neighbors after he caught the same-sex couple in a romantic embrace, according to the Summit County Sheriff's Office.

Authorities arrested the 40-year-old man on suspicion of assault, which was enhanced to a class A misdemeanor based on evidence that the assault was a hate crime.

According to Summit County Sgt. Ronald Bridge, the victims were helping the man work on his property Tuesday evening. The suspect briefly went inside his house and when he returned, found the neighbors in a nonsexual "romantic encounter" in his utility shed, Bridge said. Bridge declined to identify the victims' gender.

The suspect allegedly assaulted the neighbors, causing superficial cuts and bruises that were treated by emergency responders on scene. They refused to go to a hospital, Bridge said.

During the investigation, the suspect repeatedly called the victims derogatory names that referred to their sexual orientation. Police believe the man was intoxicated. He was later arrested on suspicion of two counts of class A misdemeanor assault and intoxication.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @kimballbennion