ST. GEORGE — A verbal altercation allegedly turned physical after a series of disturbing text messages resulted in the suspect being asked to leave the home of an acquaintance who was helping the man.

File photo for illustrative purposes only of several St. George Police officers responding to a scene in St. George, Utah, Sept. 24, 2023 | Photo by Alysha Lundgren, St. George News

On June 16, officers responded to an apartment complex on 1100 South in St. George shortly before 7 p.m. on what was initially reported as a disturbance call.

According to the affidavit filed in support of the arrest, officers arrived and found two men that appeared to have been involved in a physical altercation, including the tenant of the apartment unit who had several facial injuries and blood on his clothing. Another person who appeared uninjured was identified as 36-year-old Juan Carlos Arellano.

Officers learned that earlier that day, Arellano, who had been staying in the apartment for the past week without paying rent, started sending the complainant a number of concerning text messages. When the caller returned home to discuss the messages, Arellano reportedly refused to answer the door to let the tenant “into his own home,” the officer noted.

Once inside, the situation escalated after the suspect became confrontational and again refused to leave the residence after being asked multiple times.

The caller said he was attacked after grabbing Arellano’s backpack in an attempt to get him to leave, adding that he was punched in the face and body with a closed fist numerous times. Officers also learned that during the altercation, the suspect attacked the victim’s eyes. The suspect was eventually subdued by the victim until police arrived.

Stock image of courtroom inside of 5th District Court in St. George, Utah | St. George News

Arellano told officers it was the tenant who attacked him and denied being asked to leave the residence. He also said he could not remember any other details about the incident.

While processing the scene, officers observed multiple injuries to the victim’s face and head, while Arellano appeared to have no visible injuries.

The evidence at the scene implicated Arellano in the assault and he was later arrested by police. After he was medically cleared for transport, the suspect was booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility later that same evening facing second-degree felony burglary and misdemeanor assault.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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