Judge issues warrant for St. George man accused of choking dog, assaulting man

ST. GEORGE — An arrest warrant was issued for a St. George man facing burglary and animal abuse charges after he failed to appear in court Friday.

District Court Judge John J. Walton in court proceedings at 5th District Court, St. George, Utah, Sept. 26, 2019 | File photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

Tielar Mikel Hibben, 24, was scheduled to appear in 5th District Court for a preliminary hearing on multiple charges, including second-degree felony burglary of a dwelling and misdemeanor charges of assault, criminal mischief and animal abuse.

However, the defendant was not present in the courtroom when his case was announced.

When District Judge John J. Walton asked Hibben’s attorney, Caleb Cottam, if his client planned to appear, Cottam said, “I don’t see him here, your honor,” adding that it wasn’t the first time his client was unaccounted for during a court hearing he was required to attend.

“I think he was about two hours late last time,” Cottam said.

Tielar M. Hibben, of St. George, booking photo June 25, 2019 | FIle photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Hibben’s case stems from an incident reported June 25 in which the residents of a house in St. George reported seeing the defendant abuse his dog, according to charging documents.

One of Hibben’s friends brought the dog inside the residence and locked Hibben outside, which is when the defendant allegedly forced the back door open by kicking it in and began to beat the man who had separated him from his dog. Police say he then fled the scene, leaving substantial damage to the residence and injuries to the man he assaulted.

When police located Hibben a few days later, he reportedly told them he had kicked the back door three times to open it and was then attacked by the man who locked him out. He was arrested and released from jail a few days later after posting bond.

After his failure to appear during Friday’s hearing, Walton issued a $10,000 warrant for the defendant’s arrest and scheduled an arraignment hearing for Oct. 31.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2019, all rights reserved.

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