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Man charged with retaliation of a witness after Sandy attack

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A friend of the 17-year-old male charged with allegedly punching a gay Sandy teenager is facing felony charges and a hate crime enhancement after destroying pride flags at the victim’s home.

Hayden Perry Stowell, 19, of Sandy, was charged Monday in 3rd District Court with retaliation against a witness, a third-degree felony; criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor; theft, a class B misdemeanor; and disorderly conduct, an infraction. Prosecutors filed hate crimes penalty enhancements on both the alleged assailant and Stowell.

At about 5 a.m., the mother of the teen victim got a notification on her phone from one of her home surveillance cameras.

“She later looked out the window and observed all her Pride flags strewn about her front yard and the street in front of her home. At least one of the flagpoles had been broken during the process. Both Christian and Jocelyn Peacock have been struggling with anxiety and fear since the assault on July 30, and with the continued intimidation they felt by the damage to their flags,” the charges state.

Another witness who watched surveillance video of the original assault told police she immediately recognized all of the people in the car.

“[The witness] said that she recognized all the people captured in the video surveillance on July 30 [and 31]because they are members of” the Kingston polygamist family and “she has known them for a long time,” charging documents read.

The witness identified Stowell, who turned 19 on August 13, as the person damaging the Pride flags, the charges state.

Prosecutors also noted that the incident happened just hours after the 17-year-old accused in the assault was booked into juvenile detention.

“Stowell ripped down the Pride flags just 12 hours after [the alleged assailant] was booked into detention,” the charge state. “Stowell has returned to the scene of the original assault with the only clear purpose to further intimidate and harass Christian Peacock after [Stowell’s friend] was booked into custody.”

Stowell was booked into the Salt Lake County jail and is being held without bail after prosecutors argued that “there is clear and convincing evidence” that he “would constitute a substantial danger” to the victim and his family if he were to be released.

The week after the attack and the damage to the flags, Project Rainbow came to the Peacock’s house and planted a number of flags in front. Neighbors called Project Rainbow, asking for flags to support the family as well.

The Peacock family released a statement through their attorneys, Chris Warton and Paul Burke.

“There can be no place in Utah for hate crimes. We appreciate the swift and continuing efforts of the Sandy Police Department, Sim Gill, and the District Attorney’s Office to investigate and prosecute the hate crimes that targeted our family. We also thank our friends and neighbors in Sandy, including Mayor Monica Zoltanski, for standing by us and making clear that hate crimes will not be tolerated in Sandy.”

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