Arrest warrant issued in Main Street attack
November 6, 2009
The second person charged in an attack on Main Street during the Sundance Film Festival did not make a scheduled court appearance on Wednesday, prompting a judge to issue a warrant for the man’s arrest.
Kyle Erickson, 25 years old and from Lehi, did not attend a pretrial conference that had been scheduled in front of Judge Shauna Kerr. Prosecutors and defense attorneys normally discuss an array of issues with a judge during a pretrial conference.
Kerr issued a $1,000 warrant for Erickson’s arrest. He faces four charges stemming from the Jan. 18 confrontation — two counts of assault, one of disorderly conduct and one of public intoxication. The most serious are the assault counts, class B misdemeanors that are punishable by six months in jail and a $1,000 fine upon conviction.
Erickson in July pleaded not guilty to the charges. A Justice Court clerk said there is not an attorney on file for Erickson and Erickson did not contact the court prior to missing the Wednesday hearing. Erickson attended a Sept. 2 pretrial conference, according to the Justice Court.
The authorities captured him in the summer. A bail bondsman posted a $2,500 bond for his release.
Prosecutors accuse Erickson of assaulting Ryan Bilbrey and his wife, Rebecca Bilbrey, during the confrontation. They claim Erickson was lying on the sidewalk as the Bilbreys and the people they were with passed them close to the Egyptian Theatre.
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Erickson tried to provoke a fight, threw the lid of a trash can at the wife and spat on her before Ryan Bilbrey and Erickson engaged each other in a fight, prosecutors claim.
Bilbrey fell to the ground and another person, John Cook, kicked him, causing terrible damage to his face. The police quickly caught Cook nearby. A jury in October convicted him of a misdemeanor count of assault. Sentencing is scheduled Nov. 30. Cook, who is 26 years old and from Lindon, faces up to one year in jail and a $2,500 fine when he is sentenced. He is being held at the Summit County Jail until his sentencing.
Erickson, though, eluded the police the night of the attack. Court documents indicate the wife identified Erickson in a photo lineup as being the other person involved. The Summit County Sheriff’s Office arrested him in Utah County in midsummer.
Kerry Gaines, the City Hall attorney who is prosecuting Erickson, said it was not clear why Erickson did not attend the Wednesday hearing. She declined to speculate whether the Cook conviction had a role in Erickson’s absence.
"I just don’t feel like he is one of our more responsible defendants," Gaines said.
The attack occurred during the bustling opening weekend of Sundance, the busiest stretch of the festival. There were big crowds on Main Street that night, and a group of people witnessed the attack.
The attack was a rare act of brutality on Main Street, a shopping, dining and entertainment strip that sometimes attracts rowdy, drunken crowds but rarely witnesses street violence.
Bilbrey has filed a lawsuit against Cook and Erickson, asking for compensatory and punitive damages against both of them, attorney’s fees and court costs. The two defendants have filed answers to the lawsuit disputing the claims made by the Bilbrey side.