Brighton man who confronted snowboarder with rifle charged with assault, making threats

Snowboarder said he feared for his life, asked district attorney’s office to bring charges.

(Loren Richardson via Instagram) A snowboarder was threatened with a gun in the Town of Brighton.

The Brighton man who brandished a rifle while confronting a snowboarder and a skier about trespassing on his property was charged Thursday with felony third-degree assault.

Keith Robert Stebbings also faces a count of threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor, according to charging documents filed in 3rd District Court.

The Feb. 24 confrontation happened as Loren Richardson of Clovis, California, was returning to his vacation rental in Brighton. He snowboarded from National Forest Service land bordering Brighton Resort onto what he told police he believed to be a road leading to Big Cottonwood Canyon Road. Shortly after dropping onto the plowed path, he rounded a corner and encountered Stebbings, who was holding a rifle. Stebbings began yelling and cursing at Richardson, telling him he was on private property.

“Do it again,” he said in a video captured by Richardson, “and there will be holes in you.”

In the video, which has since gone viral, Stebbings also appeared to push Richardson.

Richardson, 41, reported the encounter on Old Prospect Avenue to police on Feb. 26 and asked that charges be brought against Stebbings.

“I was scared,” he told The Tribune. “I was scared for my life.”

A Holladay man who was returning to Brighton through National Forest Service land after taking a backcountry class near Guardsman Pass on Feb. 24 also allegedly encountered Stebbings. In that interaction, the skier told police that the butt of Stebbings’ rifle hit his hip. He reported the confrontation to the Unified Police Department that afternoon. The skier told police he did not want to press charges.

Aggravated assault is a third-degree felony. According to the law, it denotes Stebbings, armed with a “dangerous weapon,” intended “to do bodily injury to another; (ii) make a threat, accompanied by a show of immediate force or violence, to do bodily injury to another; or (iii) commit an act, committed with unlawful force or violence, that causes bodily injury to another or creates a substantial risk of bodily injury to another.”

Under the threat-of-violence charge, Salt Lake County prosecutors assert that Stebbings threatened to commit bodily injury or death or acted in a way that placed Richardson “in fear of imminent serious bodily injury, substantial bodily injury, or death.”

Stebbings was not booked into jail as of Thursday afternoon. No court date has been set.