WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah – Police spent about an hour and a half searching for the suspect in a break-in and sexual and physical assault in West Valley City early Sunday morning before the allegedly intoxicated man was arrested for multiple charges.
Police in West Valley City said things began around 1:30 a.m. when 24-year-old Joseph Petit allegedly broke into a home in the area of 3800 South 3200 West.
A woman living in the residence heard noises and went to investigate, and police said that’s when the suspect assaulted the woman. According to a statement of probable cause, the suspect allegedly cut the woman twice on the arm with a knife, punched her in the face and used his fingers to sexually assault her. The woman attacked by the suspect stated he smelled very strongly of alcohol.
Others who live in the home came to help the woman, and at that point Petit escaped through a window. One male in the home grabbed the suspect by the belt but released him after Petit slashed at him with the knife.
Officers responded and set up a containment in the area, and after personnel from several agencies searched for about an hour and a half Petit was located in the area of 3100 South and 2700 West. He was found to be in possession of a firearm despite being a restricted person.
The woman the man assaulted was taken to a hospital for treatment of minor injuries. Police did not offer specifics about her wounds but said she was doing OK and was largely being checked out for investigative purposes rather than for serious medical concerns.
Petit was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and faces the following charges: aggravated sexual assault as a first-degree felony, aggravated burglary as a first-degree felony, aggravated assault as a second-degree felony, weapons violation by a restricted person as a third-degree felony, public intoxication as a class C misdemeanor and vehicle burglary as a class A misdemeanor.
Police said the man was intoxicated at the time and had been trying to break into cars along the street. They said that because there doesn’t appear to be signs of forced entry into the residence, they believe the man tried to enter the home as a crime of opportunity when he found it unlocked.