UTAH (ABC4) – A Springville man is in custody for multiple violent crimes after he says a “higher power” ordered him to “purge the city.”
28-year-old Christian Taele was taken into custody following an assault that happened in Ogden over the weekend.
On July 9, The Ogden Police Department responded to reports of an assault in progress at an apartment complex near the 2400 block of Adams Ave around 7:20 a.m.
Arresting documents show that a 911 caller reported Taele “had beat and hung another male.”
When officers arrived, they found the victim, a 23-year-old man, “partially hanging by the neck from a piece of gym equipment.”
The man was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. Documents show the man was unconscious in the hospital with no signs of brain activity.
Witnesses later told police Taele approached the victim and began strangling him before kicking him numerous times, later dragging him into the apartment building and into the gym.
Police said Taele and the victim were not known to each other before the crime.
Taele was arrested at the scene and later booked into the Weber County Jail for attempted criminal homicide.
Upon further investigation, officers found a connection between Taele and a suspicious death investigation in Spanish Fork, where the body of 49-year-old Ryan Hooley of Spanish Fork, was found next to a dumpster near 200 N 400 E on the morning of July 8.
While being interviewed for the assault in Ogden, police said Taele confessed to the homicide in Spanish Fork.
When asked about the crimes, Taele reportedly said he was “directed by a higher power to purge the city.”
“He currently presents a danger to the public and has stated that he feels no remorse for the killings,” officers said of Taele in arresting documents.
Detectives with both the Ogden and Spanish Fork police departments continue to investigate both incidents.
This story will be updated as more information becomes available.