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Rainbow Gathering's Hitler attacked someone with tire iron, too, prosecutor says

Published June 25, 2014 9:26 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Prosecutors may file additional charges against the 32-year-old woman who allegedly stabbed a man in the head and shoulder at the Rainbow Family Gathering outside of Heber City.

Wednesday morning, Leilani Novak-Garcia, who people at the gathering called "Hitler," arrived for her initial appearance in the 4th District Court. Novak-Garcia is charged with attempted murder for allegedly stabbing a 45-year-old man who was trying to get her to stop honking her car horn.

In addition to the attempted murder charge, a second degree felony, Wasatch County prosecutor McCay King said his office may be pursuing additional charges against Novak-Garcia for allegedly assaulting an individual with a tire iron.

"We may be filing additional charges and asking for an increase in bail," King told 4th District Judge Steven Hansen as Novak-Garcia, clad in black and white striped prison scrubs, looked on.

The stabbing allegedly took place about 1:30 a.m. on June 23. Forest rangers alerted the Wasatch County Sherrif's office of a disturbance after they heard someone scream "I will [expletive deleted] kill you" from within the grounds of the Rainbow Gathering.

Two deputies with the Wasatch County Sheriff's office accompanied the rangers into the campgrounds, where they found Neil Sparling bleeding from stab wounds.

Deputies later found Novak-Garcia hiding in a tent and arrested her on suspicion of attempted murder. She is being held in Wasatch County Jail.

The Rainbow Gathering, an annual event that promotes peace and communion with nature, is expected to draw more than 10,000 people to the national forest outside Heber City this year. By Wednesday, 924 campers had already arrived, the Forest Service reported.

Concerned community representatives are set to meet with Rainbow participants 7 p.m. today at a town meeting in Heber.

hstevens@sltrib.com

Twitter: @Harry_Stevens