Oct 18, 2015

2 men arrested at old polygamous sect zoo — again

Nate Carlisle
Salt Lake Tribune
October 17,  2015

Sam Brower Andrew Chatwin being placed under arrest Oct. 13, 2015.
Marshals in Colorado City, Ariz., on Saturday again arrested two men at the towns' old zoo, even though one of the suspects has a lease for the property.

Patrick Pipkin, the lease holder, and Andrew Chatwin were booked into the jail in Washington County, Utah, about 4 p.m. on suspicion of misdemeanor trespass. The jail's website did not list a bail amount. The last time they were arrested on the charge — Tuesday — Pipkin and Chatwin spent the night in jail before seeing a judge in Colorado City's municipal court. The judge released them on their own recognizance.

"This is religious vindictiveness," their attorney, Bill Walker, said Saturday night.

"These people are out of control," Walker said of the marshals.

"But I'll tell you one thing, they're not going to get away with it. There will be a reckoning. Mark my words."

Colorado City and adjoining Hildale, Utah, are collectively know as Short Creek. They are home to the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.

The U.S. Department of Justice has a pending lawsuit accusing the towns' governments of taking orders from FLDS leaders and discriminating against people who don't follow the church.

A trust called the United Effort Plan owns most of the land and residential and commercial property in Short Creek. Utah seized the trust in 2005 and many FLDS followers have refused to cooperate with it.

Pipkin and a business partner received a lease from the United Effort Plan to farm Colorado City's old zoo. But when they went there Tuesday, they found someone living on the property.

The Short Creek marshals said the resident had a claim to the property and told Pipkin, Chatwin and others with them to leave. After much discussion, according to a lawyer for the marshals, Pipkin and Chatwin said they wanted to be arrested.

On Saturday, Walker said, Pipkin and Chatwin went back to the zoo to put locks on gates and do other work. A few women, apparently living on the zoo grounds, cut a hole in a fence to let themselves in, Walker said.

At some point, the marshals arrived.

Walker described the domicile at the zoo as an old tack shed for horses, though on Wednesday an attorney for the marshals, Blake Hamilton, said the domicile is the old caretakers' residence and has living quarters.

Hamilton defended Tuesday's arrests, saying Pipkin and Chatwin had every opportunity to leave the property until the matter could be resolved civilly.


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