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Man arrested after attacking woman he didn’t know at motel, police say

Handcuffs hang from a bench in the pre-booking area of the Utah County Jail, where suicides are increasing. Deseret News archives

MIDVALE — Unified police used a police K-9 early Thursday to arrest a man accused of stabbing a woman inside a motel.

Benjamin Peterson, 21, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, aggravated assault, burglary, spitting on police, interfering with an arrest and intoxication.

Just before 1 a.m. police were called to the Inn Towne Suites, 151 W. 7200 South, on a report of a guest being assaulted.

Officers arrived to find Peterson holding a pair of scissors and disobeying officers’ commands, according to a police affidavit.

“After attempts to de-escalate and take Benjamin into custody, he attempted to run toward officers with the scissors in hand. Benjamin stumbled and dropped the (scissors),” the affidavit states.

After “lunging” toward officers in “an aggressive manner,” police deployed a Taser twice on Peterson “with minimal effect. Benjamin was able to disable the (Taser) by disconnecting the wires,’ the affidavit says.

After Peterson stood up and began walking toward officers again, a police K-9 was deployed and was able to hold him until he was taken into custody.

Detectives then reviewed recorded surveillance video from the motel showing that prior to officers arriving, Peterson was chasing his girlfriend with a weapon, according to the affidavit.

“Benjamin is also seen running through the hallways in an apparent attempt to locate (her). He is seen forcing his way into a room,” police wrote.

A woman in the room — whom Peterson did not know — had opened her door to see what was going on. When she did, Peterson head-butted her in the chest as she opened the door, then sat on top of her and punched her in the face, the affidavit states.

“He had an object in his hand that he used to hit her with” and she later realized “she had been stabbed in the right side,” police wrote in the report. The woman suffered multiple cuts to her right side and a puncture wound.

Detectives reported finding a “large bloody knife” in the victim’s room and “large amounts of blood throughout the hotel hallways.”