OGDEN -- Initial charges have been filed in an assault case that began as a texting battle in Roy this week. The texting taunts led to a Roy man firing gunshots into the air when the texters turned up on his property, according to police.
Paris Thornton, 31, has been charged with third-degree felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor counts of assault and trespassing. He was arraigned on the charges Thursday morning in 2nd District Court in Ogden.
The investigation into Thornton's alleged accomplice, Robert Crozier, 32, and the unidentified homeowner, is continuing, said Deputy Weber County Attorney Gary Heward.
"It's not going to surprise you what's in the text messages," Heward said, declining to specify.
"It's the typical stuff you get when you have adults acting like children. There is a history between these people."
Heward said he could not discuss the homeowner's alleged use of what police described as an AK-47 to fire warning shots to scare Thornton and Crozier off his property.
Such automatic and semiautomatic rifles are legally owned with the proper federal permits, he said.
Roy Police Chief Greg Whinham said the incident began earlier Monday when Thornton and Crozier were exchanging text messages through the early evening with the homeowner, whose property is in the 4500 block of 2675 West.
The two then went to the home, and events escalated.
Rocks were thrown at the home and at the homeowner's car, one of the pair urinated on the porch, and the homeowner was hit in the back of the head with a can of beer, Whinham said.
Thornton was the more aggressive of the two, doing the most damage to the house and car and throwing the beer can, Whinham said.
Provoked, the homeowner got out an AK-47 semiautomatic rifle, he said, and fired two shots into the air to warn Thornton and Crozier, who ran away.
Police apprehended the two in the neighborhood and arrested them based on the homeowner's report. Crozier was also booked on an outstanding warrant unrelated to the incident.
The investigation will address whether the homeowner's actions were justified under Utah law, which allows the use of deadly force in the defense of home and property, or if he committed possible offenses, such as assault or unlawful discharge of a firearm inside city limits.