SOUTH SALT LAKE — A man who was invited to spend the night at an acquaintance's house was arrested after police say the homeowner awoke to find the man attacking his daughter's pet rabbit with a sword.

Jason Shawn Price, 49, was arrested for investigation of aggravated assault and cruelty to animals.

Price was invited to spend the night with a friend of the family, said South Salt Lake police detective Gary Keller. The homeowner was awoken about 5 a.m. Tuesday to the sound of his daughter screaming.

When the homeowner went to investigate, he found Price trying to hold a pet rabbit down with one hand and a 2 ½ foot sword in the other, Keller said. Price was trying to kill the rabbit, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

"The victim confronted Jason, who then sliced the victim's hand with the sword and then fled the home," the report states.

Investigators found Price several blocks away and arrested him.

"Jason had blood on his hands and made comments about killing rabbits and cutting peoples' fingers without police questioning him," the report states.

The homeowner suffered a 1-inch cut on his index finger, Keller said.

"The rabbit did have a gimpy hop after the attack," the report states.

According to Utah court records, Price has a history of being referred for mental health treatment over the years following convictions on charges including felony robbery, misdemeanor assault, and lewdness involving a child.

Pat Reavy

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam