Assault charge refiled against farmer; investigation into other allegations continuing
An assault charge has been refiled against a western Weber County farmer and former president of the Utah Farm Bureau Federation due to his treatment of a worker.
On Friday, Ron Gibson was charged with misdemeanor assault stemming from a Aug. 8 incident that led to his arrest. This comes after the initial assault charge against Gibson was dismissed due to a jurisdictional issue.
“There was a little confusion over the jurisdiction,” Weber County Attorney Christopher Allred told the Standard-Examiner last week. “Initially, it went to Hooper and I believe it took some time to sort that out. It’s been determined that was in the unincorporated area of Weber County rather than Hooper, so Hooper dropped it.”
According to court documents filed with the new charge, the interaction was recorded on video.
“The victim … stated his boss, Ron Gibson back handed him after confronting him about not being paid. The victim stated he went to Green Acres Farm, where all of the men worked for Ron,” the indictment states.
The court papers describe a video provided by a witness reportedly showing workers standing by their cars. According to the indictment, the alleged victim was the only person talking “when Ron got into his face, told him to shut up in Spanish and then proceeded to back hand him.”
The indictment states that Gibson claimed the worker had been harassing him, triggering the altercation.
“When I arrived on scene, Weber Fire was already there assessing (the worker). While standing with medical, the workers began to shout and pointed to a vehicle driving south on 4700 W. The vehicle stopped and Ron Gibson stepped out of the vehicle,” the arresting officer’s report states. When asked what occurred, Gibson reportedly said his workers were harassing him, so he slapped one of them “because he wouldn’t be cooperative.”
The officer states he observed the alleged victim’s mouth was bleeding and one of his teeth reportedly had been knocked loose.
Gibson’s next court appearance related to the assault charge is scheduled for Oct. 18.
At the time of Gibson’s initial arrest last month, he was also accused of human trafficking and fraud. These allegations are being investigated by the Department of Public Safety’s State Bureau of Investigation. Allred said Tuesday he was unsure of when this investigation will conclude. No additional charges have been filed at this time.
The Standard-Examiner reached out to Steven Burton, who has been representing Gibson, but a response was not receivied by press time.