Suspect charged with aggravated assault following alleged attack with meth pipe

Composite image | Photo by Stelsone/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A suspect was arrested for aggravated assault Wednesday after being accused of cutting a woman multiple times with a glass pipe used to smoke methamphetamine during a heated altercation.

The Washington County Attorney’s Office filed an aggravated assault charge against 41-year-old Monique Salas of St. George involving an incident reported Monday evening in which officers were dispatched to 1740 North involving a reported assault.

Officers arrived to find a woman who had several cuts to her arms and one above her eye, as well as a deep cut to her right hand.

“The cut was deep enough you could see muscle,” the officer noted in the report.

The woman told officers she was in a discussion with Salas regarding an issue with a boyfriend, and Salas “was calm at first” and then allegedly attacked the woman.

She also told police that at first, she was unaware that she was cut until she looked down and noticed her hand was sliced open. It was then that she realized Salas was holding a meth pipe and allegedly “cut her all over” with it. The woman said she was able to block the suspect as Salas continued reaching for the woman’s throat, evidenced by the cut marks across the woman’s forearms that suggested to police she was defending herself.

Monique Salas, 41, of St. George, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Aug. 19, 2020 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

After taking the initial report, officers attempted to locate the suspect at the address they had on file but were told that the suspect and the woman were both kicked out of the home by a family member shortly after the altercation. The family member also told officers there was blood on the sidewalk, purportedly from the scuffle, that was later cleaned up before the family member’s children saw it.

Officers scouring the sidewalk and surrounding area could “clearly see” a trail of blood leading from the apartment door to the parking area, where it ended near one of the empty parking stalls.

On Wednesday, the suspect was located. When questioned, she gave police a different account, telling officers that during the altercation, it was the woman who attacked her.

She also said that during the alleged attack, the woman fell on the pipe and cut her hand.

According to the report, Salas “changed her story and her account of what occurred several times,” the officer wrote. “And in most cases, her story did not match the previous version.”

Moreover, the reporting party’s injuries were consistent with being attacked, and officers could find no injuries on Salas, “suggesting she was the attacker and not attacked as she stated,” the report said.

On Wednesday, Salas was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility shortly after 5 p.m., and bail was set at $5,000. The suspect was released a few hours later on a promise to appear and was charged the following day.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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