Luke Garrott

A Salt Lake City councilman who tried to play peacemaker when a knife fight broke out in his neighborhood Sunday afternoon ended up getting punched in the face.

District 4 Councilman Luke Garrott, 40, suffered minor injuries while trying to break up a fight near his house at 655 S. 500 East that involved a neighbor and an unidentified man. In a statement, Garrott said he heard quarreling and rushed into the street to see the two men in a "very aggressive verbal altercation."

Garrott decided to step in.

"Because I knew this neighbor, I felt that I could have a calming influence on the conflict," he said.

Instead, the neighbor — identified as Silas Harper by Salt Lake City police — allegedly punched Garrott in the face. A liaison for Garrott said Monday the councilman is OK.

Garrott didn't state whether he knew the cause of the fight, but he did say his neighbor "is particularly protective of his property."

Before Garrott's arrival, the fight spilled out into the street, and the unidentified man tried to flee. Harper pursued and engaged the man.

According to the police report, Harper and the unidentified man moved through several yards as they fought, and several neighbors got involved. When officers arrived, the unidentified man managed to escape, but Harper was arrested after a short chase.

Though Garrott was punched in the face for his troubles, he said his initial impulse to play peacemaker paid off for all parties involved.

"In the end it turned out for the best," he said. "Neither of them attacked each other with the weapons they held ... ."

Harper was booked into Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault, simple assault and vehicle vandalism. He also allegedly kicked a corrections officer, police said.


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