West Valley City police were investigating Thursday night whether a beating and stabbing, a failed purse snatching and a teen threatening a person with a gun — all within 30 minutes of each other — were related.
Police Lt. Scott Buchanan said all three incidents happened within blocks of the 3200 West and 3100 South area and involved teens about 17 years old.
He said the first incident happened about 3 p.m. as about five 13- and 14-year-olds were walking home from junior high and were verbally accosted by a group of 17-year-olds riding in a black car. As the younger teens fled, the older teens in the car gave chase. The older teens caught up with a 13-year-old boy, stabbed him once in the shoulder and neck area and used a blunt instrument — likely a baton or pipe — to beat him up, Buchanan said.
The 13-year-old was transported to Primary Children’s Medical Center, where he was being evaluated Thursday night. Buchanan said the teen was expected to survive.
He said officers tracked down the car, and the teens inside fled on foot. He said police caught several of them and took them into custody for questioning. He said that incident appeared to be gang-related.
About 3:30 p.m., as police were investigating, just one block away there was another incident. Buchanan said a teenager related to one of the teens apprehended in the stabbing approached a family member of the wounded 13-year-old and brandished a gun. Buchanan said it appears the two incidents were related, and the teen with the gun, who was quickly apprehended, may have been trying to intimidate the stabbing victim’s family.
Meanwhile, about 3:10 p.m. as the stabbing incident was unfolding, Buchanan said another 17-year-old accosted a 50-year-old woman outside a nearby elementary school, shoved her to the ground and tried to steal her purse. The woman wasn’t injured, and witnesses led police to the teen’s location. Officers took him into custody.
Buchanan said police were trying to determine if that incident was connected to the others.