SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – A young man was charged Monday with hate crimes for allegedly intimidating the family of a gay teen who was previously assaulted in front of his home in Sandy.
Hayden Perry Stowell, 18, was charged with one count of Retaliation Against a Witness, Victim, or Informant (Hate Crime), a Third Degree Felony, as well as one count of Criminal Mischief (Hate Crime), a Class A Misdemeanor.
During a prior incident involving assault on July 30, a 17-year-old Sandy teen was standing with his boyfriend on the curb in front of his home when a silver Infiniti Q50 drove by.
The teen was reportedly hugging his boyfriend when someone in the car yelled a homophobic slur directed at them.
That same vehicle returned 45 minutes later, according to charging documents, and more homophobic comments were made by the occupants of the vehicle.
At this point, “several male occupants” reportedly exited the Infiniti, one of whom allegedly punched the teen in the face with a closed fist before taking off in the Infiniti with the rest of the occupants.
The victim was taken to Alta View Hospital, where he was diagnosed with an internal head injury from the punch, police say.
Nearly two weeks later, on August 13, the mother of the victim received a notification on her phone that one of her surveillance cameras was picking up an unknown face.
Charging documents state that she later looked out the window and observed that all her Pride flags were strewn about her front yard and in the street in front of her home.
A witness reportedly watched the surveillance video of the original assault and “immediately recognized the assailant,” as well as multiple others in the car. The witness stated that they all belonged to “The Order,” which she referred to as the “Kingston polygamist family,” who she was reportedly known for a long time.
Charging documents state that after review of the surveillance video from August 13, the male damaging the Pride flags was identified as Hayden Stowell, who was present during the July 30 assault.
Stowell reportedly “ripped down the Pride flags” just 12 hours after the original assailant was booked into juvenile detention on Friday, August 12.
Stowell now faces a felony hate crime due to the incident being considered “witness retaliation,” as charging documents state that Stowell “returned to the scene of the original assault with the only clear purpose to further intimidate and harass [the victim].”