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Utah Man Allegedly Shouted ‘I Hate Mexicans’ Earlier than Attacking Latino Father And Son

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A Utah man has been charged with aggravated assault for allegedly beating a Latino father and son exterior their tire store in Salt Lake Metropolis after yelling about his hatred of Mexicans.

Salt Lake Metropolis police on Friday charged Alan Dale Covington, 50, with two felony counts of aggravated assault, in addition to three weapon and drug expenses.

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Although Covington allegedly shouted about eager to “kill a Mexican” earlier than attacking the 2 unfamiliar males, the Salt Lake County District Lawyer’s Workplace didn’t cost him with a hate crime. Utah code prevents expenses extra severe than misdemeanor assaults from being prosecuted as such.

“Though we need to pat ourselves on the again and say now we have a hate crime statute, it’s actually not enforceable,” Salt Lake County District Lawyer Sim Gill informed The Salt Lake Tribune. “It’s solely relevant to the decrease offenses.”

Covington was arrested Tuesday after he allegedly attacked Jose Lopez, the 51-year-old proprietor of Lopez Tires, and his 18-year-old son Luis Gustavo Lopez exterior their Salt Lake Metropolis store.

Covington allegedly approached the son and started threatening him and shouting “I hate Mexicans” and “I’m right here to kill a Mexican.” He then allegedly requested {the teenager}, “Are you a part of the Mexican Mafia?”

The Mexican Mafia is a infamous jail gang largely primarily based in California. It’s unclear why Covington suspected the Lopezes have been linked to the gang, although he reportedly informed police that he knew the household was Mexican and that “all of them know one another.”

Jose Lopez informed police he ran exterior after listening to the commotion and located Covington with a steel bar in his hand, which he started swinging at them.

Lopez’s son allegedly grabbed a rod from a software chest to defend his dad and himself, however the assailant whacked him within the face with the bar, knocking him unconscious. Covington allegedly continued to beat Jose Lopez and his son till Jose’s brother got here to examine on what was taking place after listening to the noise. Covington then fled the scene, police say.

Luis Gustavo Lopez, an 18-year-old student at Salt Lake Community College, got a shattered cheekbone and eye socket in t

Luis Gustavo Lopez, an 18-year-old pupil at Salt Lake Group School, received a shattered cheekbone and eye socket within the assault

Veronica Lopez, Jose’s daughter, described her relations’ circumstances in a GoFundMe web page she set as much as elevate cash for his or her medical bills.

“My dad received eight stitches in his arm and has his again severely bruised because of the blows he acquired,” in accordance with the web page. “My brother’s proper aspect of his face was shattered, he had a 3 hour surgical procedure to position a titanium plate from the precise aspect of his face to his nostril to have the ability to connect the bones and hold his eyeball in place and a plate below that.”

Police say Covington, who has beforehand served jail time for assault and home violence, harassed workers at a close-by salon earlier than stopping on the tire store, in accordance with the Tribune. Covington has “some psychological well being points” and was below the affect of medication on the time of the assault, in accordance with officers.

Veronica Lopez informed the Tribune that she is “extraordinarily dissatisfied” that the case gained’t be dealt with as a hate crime.

“It makes my blood boil,” she informed the newspaper. “What do they need subsequent? Do they need him to kill somebody to see that he’s harmful?”

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