Payson police share video of suspect wanted in sledgehammer attack on man, beating of preschoolers

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AGGRAVATED ASSAULT SUSPECT SURVEILLANCE 08/14/2020

Posted by Payson Police Department – Utah on Friday, August 14, 2020

PAYSON, Utah, Aug. 14, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — The Payson Police Department has released video of the suspect in a sledgehammer attack on a man and the subsequent punching of six to seven preschoolers Friday morning.

The video above shows footage of the man, dressed in black, as he quickly walks by on the sidewalk.

“Payson Police officers were dispatched to a disturbance in the area of 600 E. 500 North,” says a statement on a Payson Police Department social media page. A woman exited her home and witnessed an adult male striking her neighbor about the body and head with a sledgehammer. The woman called out to the suspect to stop.

“The suspect then turned his attention to her, and walked toward her home, which is a daycare facility. The suspect proceeded to strike the children and another adult with his fists, and then fled the area. The male is still at large. The children are receiving medical treatment for various injuries.”

Sgt. Noemi Sandoval, Payson Police Department, said at a subsequent news conference that six to seven preschool-aged children suffered superficial injuries, and their parents were with them.

The male neighbor was transported by air to a hospital, then to a second hospital, Sandoval said. His condition was critical.

Law enforcement officials from Payson and multiple other other city and county agencies responded to the scene of a sledgehammer attack on a resident and an assault on staffers and children in a nearby daycare facility. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

The suspect is described as an adult male with tattoos and long black hair, which he had in a bun.

“The male was wearing a black shirt and black shorts,” says the PPD statement, adding that the suspect had multiple tattoos.

Sandoval asked anyone with a surveillance or doorbell camera to check footage for an image of the suspect.

It is unknown whether the suspect was known to the man attacked with a sledgehammer, Sandoval said. The victim is in critical condition and unable to do an interview.

Law enforcement officials from Payson and multiple other other city and county agencies responded to the scene of a sledgehammer attack on a resident and an assault on staffers and children in a nearby daycare facility. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

“At present, Payton Police asks all residents to shelter in place until further notice,” she said. “Businesses are asked to use their discretion as to whether they choose to shut down.”

The shelter-in-place request was lifted later in the afternoon.

Sandoval added that the situation was traumatic for the community.

“And this type of situation is very dynamic, and moves really fast,” she told reporters. “As victims have a chance to catch their breath, we hope to get more information.”

Sandoval said pretty much all law enforcement agencies in Utah County responded to help, as did several agencies from Salt Lake and Juab counties.

“But our biggest help right now, aside from law enforcement, is the public, with the information they are getting to us.”

Gephardt Daily will update this developing story as more information becomes available.

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