SALT LAKE CITY — A 50-year-old man is being held in Salt Lake City on felony assault charges after beating two tire dealers, a father and son, outside their Salt Lake City store.
Alan Dale Covington allegedly attacked Jose and Luis Lopez outside Lopez Tires L.L.C. at 1621 S. Main St. on Nov. 27, according to a document from the Third District Court for the County of Salt Lake.
The court document states Mr. Covington struck Jose Lopez in the shoulder with a three-foot metal pole. When Luis Lopez tried to defend his father, Mr. Covington struck him in the head.
Jose Lopez's brother, Angel Lopez-Toria, allegedly chased Mr. Covington, who soon was apprehended, and swore out the complaint against him, the document said.
According to news reports, Mr. Covington allegedly shouted, "I hate Mexicans!" and "Are you part of the Mexican mafia?" as he attacked the Lopezes.
Mr. Covington is in jail on $100,000 bail. He is charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault, one felony count of possession of a dangerous weapon, one misdemeanor count of drug possession and one misdemeanor count of drug paraphernalia possession.
Veronica Lopez, Jose's daughter and Luis's sister, has set up a GoFundMe page for her father and brother, whom she said do not have health insurance.
According to Veronica Lopez, Luis Lopez, who is 18, needed a three-hour operation to place a titanium plate in the right side of his face, which was shattered. Jose Lopez, 51, needed eight stitches in his arm and suffered a severely bruised back, she said.
Ms. Lopez also expressed anger that Mr. Covington would not be charged with a hate crime.
Mr. Covington previously was diagnosed with mental health problems, which led police to decide against charging him with a hate crime, according to news reports. Also, Utah law allows only misdemeanors to be upgraded to hate crimes.
By late morning Dec. 4, the GoFundMe page for Jose and Luis Lopez was reporting the effort had raised more than $61,000.
"Our family is overwhelmed by all the love and support!" Ms. Lopez wrote on the page.
According to information on Utah.gov, Jose Lopez registered his company at the South Main Street address in 2011.