VERNAL — A Uintah County man has been charged in connection with an incident where investigators say he threw his girlfriend and her pet raccoon against a wall.

David Augilar Tapia, 41, was charged Friday in 8th District Court with assault, a third-degree felony, and animal cruelty, a class B misdemeanor.

A woman called police July 14 to report that her boyfriend had assaulted her inside the home they shared near 1900 North and 1500 East in Ballard.

The woman told officers she and Tapia had been living together for about two months. They began arguing after Tapia called her by his ex-wife's name, she said.

The argument escalated, and Tapia grabbed the woman by the arms and threw her against the wall, according to charging documents.

"(The woman's) pet raccoon hissed at David, so David grabbed the raccoon by the collar and threw (the animal) into the back room, hitting the wall," the charges state.

The woman was able to leave the residence and get a ride to the emergency room from her ex-husband. She told officers she had suffered at least two broken ribs, according to the charges, which do not include any information about whether the raccoon was injured.

Tapia was arrested July 21 and booked into the Uintah County Jail. His first court appearance is set for Aug. 11.

— Geoff Liesik