One woman has critical advice for students after being physically assaulted in her own apartment at Rebel’s Roost: Lock your doors.
Kt Hiester, a freshman health science major from Brigham City, was asleep on her couch April 15 when an intruder entered through her unlocked front door at roughly 4 a.m. He seemed intent on violence.
“I just woke up to a man strangling me,” Hiester said. “I started fighting back, and when I started fighting back, that’s when he started punching me in the face.”
She said she fought back even harder at that point and began screaming, at which point the intruder grabbed a nearby softball bat to use as a weapon.
“I don’t know if it was to try and kill me or hurt me,” Hiester said.
While she received the initial force of the attack, it was her roommate who got the full brunt of the assault.
Amy Reeve, a freshman dental hygiene major from Monticello, was also asleep in the front room. When the assailant began attacking Hiester with the bat, Reeve came to her defense.
“He grabbed the bat that we always kept in the living room, and he hit me on the head,” Reeve said. “I fell off the couch and he kept hitting me.”
The assailant hit Reeve about five or six times, breaking her hand and opening a wound in her head. Despite the injuries, both Reeve and Hiester fought back until the intruder ran back out the front door.
“Kt jumped up and started hitting him and I punched him in the face,” Reeve said. “It was enough to scare him away, I guess.”
Reeve was rushed to the hospital, and doctors had to put seven staples in her head.
The assailant’s goal seemed to be to attack the women, but whether or not his intent was to sexually assault them is unknown.
Roommate Megan Aldredge, a sophomore health science major from Annabella, was asleep in her room when the attack happened. She said the man had opportunities to take items of value but went straight to Hiester instead.
“He wasn’t there to steal anything,” Aldredge said. “He walked past hundreds of dollars worth of electronics and tried to strangle my roommate.”
Aldredge said she and her roommates have been worried the man will return because the attack seemed zeroed in on their apartment.
“He went physically to our apartment for one of us,” she said. “He could have gone to any other apartment because there were others that were unlocked.”
Hiester said leaving doors unlocked at Rebel’s Roost is common. She said after the attack, she started checking her neighbors’ doors to see if they were locked, and if they weren’t, she’d lock them.
She said she went to lock one door that was open and found the occupants asleep on the couch.
Rebel’s Roost manager Adazia Bowen has declined to comment on the issue.
Sgt. Sam Despain of the St. George City Police Department said detectives are actively working on the case, and he will provide more information as it becomes available.
The victims described the perpetrator as a Caucasian male with shaggy blonde hair and some facial hair. He is roughly 5 feet 10 inches tall and is in his mid 20s. Anyone with information about this man or the incident can contact the St. George Police Department at 435-627-4300.