A 39-year-old man was arrested Tuesday after police say he held a woman against her will for “several weeks” and tortured her.
The man is being held in the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of aggravated kidnapping and aggravated assault, according to a probable cause statement.
A Salt Lake City officer first responded to the home Tuesday night, after police received reports of a woman being held at a house in the Poplar Grove neighborhood, at about 500 South and 1400 West. Another person told police that the woman had texted him, saying she needed help and feared for her life.
When the officer knocked on the front door, the 39-year-old man answered, holding a handgun in the pocket of his hoodie, the statement said. The man complied with orders to put his hands up as he and the weapon were secured, the statement continued.
The woman had heavy bruising around her eyes and said she couldn’t breathe well because her ribs were sore, the statement said. She told police that the man had assaulted and threatened her, and that twice she had been choked almost to the point of losing consciousness.
She said that while she was kept in the house, the man held a knife to her throat, pointed a gun at her head, beat her with a belt, and carved a “6″ into her hand, saying she had six months to “love him or be killed.”
The woman also told police that the man threatened to harm her family, including a brother who lives in Mexico.
Both the suspect and the woman were treated at hospitals — the man for high blood pressure, and the woman for her injuries, the statement noted. Detective Michael Ruff with the Salt Lake City Police Department didn’t have an update on the woman’s condition as of Wednesday afternoon, but he said her injuries were not considered life-threatening.
The officer who went to the house late Tuesday wrote in the probable cause statement that the man should be held without bail because he posed a “substantial danger” to the woman and others, noting that he was likely to flee to California, Arizona or Oregon.
The statement also indicated that what happened to the woman qualified under Utah law as domestic violence. In such cases, “we make sure the victim is given all the services we have from our victim advocates and all of our partners,” Ruff said.
The domestic violence indication can change how the courts treat the suspect when it comes to bail, bond and conditions of release, Ruff added.