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Witness draws gun on man beating his girlfriend, tells him to stop, authorities say

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Posted at 11:36 PM, Jan 25, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-26 01:36:51-05

ST. GEORGE, Utah — A St. George man was arrested after beating his girlfriend then crashing her car into the front yard of a home.

Judah Katoa

Judah Katoa

On Wednesday, Judah Benjamin Lopini Katoa, 25, had gotten into a physical fight with his girlfriend, according to a probable cause statement from St. George police.

When officers responded to a report of a family fight at Shepherd-Hills United Methodist Church, 920 Tonaquint Drive, they met Katoa’s girlfriend and a witness. Both stated Katoa physically hit his girlfriend.

According to the probable cause statement, Katoa pulled his girlfriend to the ground by her hair, got on top of her and punched her in the ribs and stomach.

There were also bite marks on the woman’s forearms, redness above her left knee, scratches on her back and redness to her face, according to the probable cause statement.

The witness saw Katoa hitting his girlfriend and drew a pistol, telling him to stop, the statement indicates.

Katoa stopped hitting his girlfriend but drove away in her car.

Moments after Katoa left, an accident was reported at Tonaquint and Escalante Drives. During accident reconstruction, it was determined Katoa was driving 84 mph, lost control and crashed into the front yard of a house.

“When officers arrived on the scene of the vehicle accident, Judah was not present,” the probable cause statement indicates.

Katoa was located and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility Friday on aggravated assault, criminal mischief, unauthorized control of a vehicle, reckless driving and failure to report accident.