SALT LAKE CITY – A man accused of having gone into a tire shop that threatened to "kill someone" before he attacked two men with a metal pipe told the authorities he had targeted the company because they were in Mexican possession and wanted to take action against him The "Mexican mafia", which he claimed to have "been after him," according to court documents.
50-year-old Alan Dale Covington was charged on Friday before the 3rd District Court with a serious assault that resulted in grave assault, a second-degree crime More aggravated assault and possession of a dangerous weapon, every third crime, possession or use a controlled substance and possession of drug paraphernalia, every offense counts.
Now the family of the two men prosecutors of the attacks treat incident as a hate crime. However, Veronica Lopez, a victim's sister, said her family had been informed on Friday that prosecutors would not prosecute hate crimes because Covington a is already being charged with a crime and under the Utah Criminal Code a hate crime is only prosecuted.
"It makes my blood boil," Veronica Lopez said. "There is no other way to describe it, it was a hate crime."
The prosecutors allege that Covington, who is homeless according to court records, left Tuesday around 9:30 am at Lopez Tires, 1
Dortha Taylor of West Valley City said she heard the excitement before she saw two men chasing each other down the street. She said she saw Luis Lopez on the floor.
"He was really badly beaten, his eye was totally confused, he was choking on blood, he had a seizure – it was just awful," she said. Hold back tears. "I told the police, I thought he was going to die."
Luis Lopez was taken to hospital in critical condition before being brought to serious condition, said Salt Lake Police Detective Robert Ungricht. Veronica Lopez told KSL TV that her brother's cheekbone was "completely broken". The day after the attack, a three-hour operation was performed using a titanium plate.
Jose Lopez, Luis's father, received eight stitches on his arm when he was hit when he protected his face and tried to take the metal pipe from the man, Veronica said Lopez.
When the police interviewed Covington, he claimed, "The Mexican mafia has been following him since 2008 and he went to Lopez Tires to see if they knew anyone in the Mexican mafia because" everyone knows each other " a sworn statement from the police inside the charge documents, saying he did not know any of the people he attacked in the store.
Covington also told the police he knew the shop owners were from Mexico, the affidavit said.
Veronica Lopez said her brother and father cooked breakfast when the man came to the store with a metal pipe.
"My brother asked him, 'How can I help you?' The guy was as if he were saying, "Are you Mexican?" And my brother was like "What?" she said.
She said the man asked him if he was in the Mexican mafia and Luis Lopez had the man asked to go.
"(The man told him)" I'm here to kill a Mexican – I'm here to kill you, "she said.
The man then started swinging a metal bar against various people in the shop. The first few turns missed the people, but finally he slapped Luis Lopez in the face, she said.
Ungricht told KSL.com Wednesday that Covington had suffered a "mental crisis" at the time of the attack. According to court documents, Covington had heroin and a hatchet and drug paraphernalia and said the police had been using methamphetamine the day before the attack, he added.
Luis Lopez has a long road to recovery, his family said The GoFundMe site * was set up last week to help cover the funds needed for its medical needs. By Monday night, the site had already collected $ 57,000 from $ 2,000 goal.
The family is also seeking justice. Covington has a long history of prosecution in Utah and has twice been convicted of personal injury over the past decade and charged with three assault charges and domestic violence, even though these four cases were ultimately dismissed.
Records also show that he has been found guilty of attempted drug possession, possession of drug paraphernalia, and crime in the past three years.
Records show that he is expected to appear in court on Wednesday.
Because of his past criminal history, Veronica hopes Lopez hopes the legal system will keep him off the streets as long as possible. She said that her family feared that one day he might return to the shop and attack.
"My brother was just lucky that (Covington) did not kill him," she said.
Contributing: Andrew Adams, KSL TV
* KSL.com can not guarantee that the money deposited in the account will be used for the benefit of the beneficiaries. If you are considering making a deposit on the account, you should consult with your own advisers and act in a different way.