CRIME, POLICE + COURTS
Utah man charged with aggravated assault with a hatchet
Jan 27, 2021, 9:10 PM | Updated: Dec 30, 2022, 11:22 am
WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – A strange attack in the West Valley In-N-Out drive-through line leads to aggravated assault charges against one man. Investigators reported the suspect threatened two people with a hatchet after a dispute over their place in line.
This reportedly started when a woman in a silver BMW cut in front of two people in a truck at the In-N-Out by the Valley Fair Mall on January 17th. Salt Lake County DA Sim Gill said the men in the truck let the woman know they were irritated by honking.
“They, of course, are not happy that somebody just jumped the line in their car, so they honked their horn and flashed their lights,” Gill reported.
Shortly after, the suspect, Damien Lee Hallett, arrives at the restaurant and reportedly confronts the men inside the truck. The probable cause statement said Hallett went there after being called by his girlfriend, the woman in the BMW, saying the men in the truck were yelling at her.
Gill said this wasn’t the usual shouting match that happens in other cases of road rage.
He said, “He gets out with the hatchet and starts yelling at the victim and breaking the window with that hatchet. It’s not just an exchanging of words.”
Investigators also reported Hallett punched and elbowed the car windows, eventually smashing the one on the passenger’s side. Gill said Hallett continued to threaten them after that.
“He broke the window, noticed that his hand was bleeding and pointed the hatchet at the victim, and said, ‘It will be your blood, next,’” he said.
Hallett reportedly left the scene and his vehicle at the restaurant after the confrontation, but police were able to track him down because of the license plate number. Hallett was charged with two counts of aggravated assault and one count of criminal mischief.
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