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Charges dropped against man accused of retaliating against hate crime victim

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Posted at 4:06 PM, Aug 24, 2022

SANDY, Utah — Charges were dropped against a man who allegedly retaliated against the family of a teenage hate crime victim who had been punched in the face last month.

Hayden Perry Stowell, 19, was arrested on Aug. 13 after he was seen on security cameras taking Pride flags and signs from outside the Sandy home of the victim. Stowell was charged a 3rd-degree felony count of retaliation against a witness or victim, as well as a Class-A misdemeanor of criminal mischief with the intent to damage or destroy property.

On Monday, those charges were dropped and Stowell was released from custody.

Stowell was not charged in the initial attack which took place on July 30. Police said a 17-year-old boy was hugging his boyfriend goodnight when a group drove by and yelled a homophobic slur. When the group returned less than an hour later, a teen suspect continued to yell slurs at the couple and punched the victim in the face.

The teenage punching suspect was also arrested.

Arrest documents claimed there was no previous connection between the victim and anyone arrested following the incidents.