SOUTH SALT LAKE A South Salt Lake man who took in a homeless stranger was threatened with his life and detained in his room without food in 2012, according to charging documents filed Wednesday in 3rd District Court.
Aaron Gibbs, 39, allegedly persuaded a 70-year-old man suffering from Parkinsons disease to take him in and slowly exerted control over him beginning in mid-2012. A warrant for Gibbs arrest was issued Tuesday.
"Gibbs offered to help take care of (the man), expressing concern about people who take advantage of the elderly," reads Gibbs arrest warrant filed in court by South Salt Lake police.
Gibbs "began to mistreat" the man and moved three of his friends into the home, according to court records. One of those friends is Loran Sant, 41, who was also charged in the case Wednesday and wanted for his arrest.
Gibbs is charged with kidnapping and exploitation of a vulnerable adult, both second-degree felonies, and two counts of third-degree felony forgery. Sant is charged with second-degree felony kidnapping and exploitation of a vulnerable adult.
"After the first few months, Gibbs began controlling (the man), locking him in his room (sometimes for as long as a full day) and withholding food. (The man) did not report the mistreatment because Gibbs and Sant threatened to kill him," court records state. "(The man) at one time overheard Gibbs talking with another person about killing him, so he fled the house and began to live on the streets."
After several weeks of homelessness, the man contacted a friend, who arranged for him to stay in a hotel and contacted his family members. The man was soon moved to a retirement community.
South Salt Lake police responded the man's South Salt Lake home on Nov. 5, 2012, where they met Gibbs, who claimed he has been working as the man's personal assistant for six months.
"Sant was also at the scene, and several other people were also there moving property out of the house. Gibbs stated that (the man) had been unable to pay him, and instead had signed over some of his property to Gibbs," court records read.
Gibbs allegedly took possession of the man's truck and trailer and hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of other property. The man testified to police that he never agreed to give those possessions to Gibbs.
South Salt Lake police reported finding the man's signature on a title to the trailer and a bill of sale for the truck. He told police the signature on the title was forged.
"(He) could not remember having signed (the bill of sale), but does recall signing documents for Gibbs under threat of bodily harm. (The man) also presented (police) with a document, purportedly signed by him, granting ownership of many items of property to Gibbs. (The man) stated that his signature on that document was forged by Gibbs. He further stated that Gibbs and Sant threatened to kill him if he did not sign."
Court records show both Gibbs and Sant are from South Salt Lake. Anyone with information related to them may call the South Salt Lake Police Department at 801-412-3606.
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