OGDEN, Utah, July 5, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — An Ogden man is facing a felony robbery charge and six misdemeanors, including aggravated cruelty to animals, after police say he snatched a 3-week-old rabbit from a woman’s hands and threw it hard against a dresser, killing it almost instantly.
Tra Michael Hoopes, 28, is facing charges of:
- Robbery, a second-degree felony
- Aggravated cruelty to animals intentional and knowingly, a class A misdemeanor
- Three counts of commission of domestic violence in the presence of a child, a class B misdemeanor
- Criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor
- Unlawful detention, a class B misdemeanor
Ogden police were called to the scene, a condo-style residence in the 1100 block of Healy Street, at 7:13 p.m. Friday, July 2, on a cruelty to animals call.
“The animal was a 3-week-old bunny that was still needing to be bottle fed,” the responding officer wrote in Hoopes’ probable cause statement. “The victim explained that her ex-boyfriend, Tra Hoopes (Tra), who still lived at the home with her, engaged in a verbal altercation while they were inside of the garage.”
The woman left the garage and went to the bedroom, where the baby rabbit was kept. Hoopes followed, the police statement says.
“Tra engaged into another verbal altercation with the victim. The victim picked up her bunny and attempted to leave the bedroom when Tra stepped in front of her.”
The woman told police she was holding the small, white bunny at her chest height, and it was visible to Hoopes. The woman said she asked Hoopes approximately six times to let her pass “because she needs to check on the three kids and feed the bunny. Tra refused to move. Tra told her he is not going to move until she tells him what was wrong and bothering her.”
She told officers Hoopes was upset and had been violent in the past. She said he would not move to let her pass.
“Tra eventually grabbed the very small, 3-week-old bunny with his hand and threw it to a dresser as he turned around. This act killed the bunny. The victim stated she had never seen something be thrown so hard or so fast… “.
The victim then quickly left the room, saying she was afraid of more violence, she told the Ogden Police officer.
“The victim explained that Tra typically throws things inside of the home to intimidate or scare her. The victim believed that Tra threw the bunny to scare her as well…,” the officer said
Hoopes allegedly admitted seeing the woman with the bunny in the bedroom, and they had been the only two people in the room.
“Tra denied stopping the victim from leaving and denied ever touching the bunny. However, during the interview, Tra’s story would jump around and he was hard to keep on a story,” Hoopes’ affidavit says.
The officer noted that neighbors reported they “could hear the altercation from inside of their home, in which the children could have heard it.”
Hoopes is being held without bail in the Weber County Jail.