Suspect in custody after skull-fracturing altercation before Arizona vs. Utah game

Chaz Lovato. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Oct. 17, 2016 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have arrested a man who allegedly punched another man in the back of the head, fracturing his skull and leaving him unconscious at a University of Utah tailgate party Oct. 8.

Chaz Lovato, 23, was booked into Salt Lake County jail Friday evening on suspicion of second-degree felony aggravated assault, according to U of U police Sgt. Garth Smith. Lovato has not yet been charged.

Smith said the 38-year-old victim was waiting in line for the portable restrooms at the main tailgating lot on 500 South and Guardsman Way, which is just southeast of Rice-Eccles Stadium, at approximately 7:40 p.m. The Utah Utes vs. Arizona Wildcats game was due to start 20 minutes later.

At least two men approached the victim and tried to cut in line, Smith said, and the victim told them to go to the back of the line.

When the victim came out of the bathroom, one of the men punched him once, blindsiding him and knocking him out, Smith said.

The victim was taken to a local hospital in critical condition with head injuries, including a fractured skull, and spent five days in hospital before being released. He is expected to make a full recovery.


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