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Highland man charged with felony child abuse after lunging, striking teen with saw

By Ryann Richardson daily Herald - | Aug 26, 2020

The Utah County Attorney’s Office filed charges against a Highland man Tuesday after his arrest on Friday.

According to court documents, 28-year-old Shawn Douglas Underwood of Highland was using a Ryobi Cordless Circular Saw between the hours of 3 a.m. and 4 a.m. While he was using it, Underwood allegedly held the saw near the leg of a 16-year-old girl.

When the saw came closer to her leg, the girl reportedly flinched and the circular saw cut her thigh, which left a three-inch long wound that is estimated to be about 1/4 to 1/2 inches deep.

Afterward, the two called a friend to bring a medical kit to the house. When the friend arrived, she cleaned the wound and put Band-Aids on it but continued to insist that the girl needed to be taking to the hospital.

Even after the friend’s insistence, according to arrest documents, the girl was not taken to the hospital nor was the girl’s mother contacted.

The friend left the residence and took the circular saw with her, fearing for the other children present in the home, and called the Lone Peak Police Department.

Officers with the Lone Peak Police Department contacted the mother of the girl involved, who allegedly told police she knew nothing about the incident. The mother and authorities responded to the residence and made contact with Underwood and the girl.

When authorities made contact with the girl, she had Band-Aids over the injury and reportedly told police the injury was self-inflicted. Officials told the girl that a witness had told them what had happened, and the girl allegedly said the injury was her fault because she flinched.

When the mother arrived on scene, she immediately took the girl to the hospital after seeing the wound.

Underwood was arrested under the suspicion of second-degree felony aggravated assault resulting in serious bodily injury. He was originally held on $5,000 bail.

On Tuesday, the Utah County Attorney’s Office filed a third-degree felony charge of child abuse by recklessly inflicting serious physical injury in the Fourth District Court of Provo.

At his initial appearance before Fourth District Judge Kraig Powell on Tuesday, the judge issued a no contact order, adding that Underwood may not have a circular saw in his possession. Underwood was released on bail Wednesday.

He is expected to appear in court once again on Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. for a preliminary hearing.

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