Payson police arrest 3 more in attack on black LDS missionary

A man and two teenagers have been arrested for allegedly attacking a black Latter-day Saint missionary in Payson in late January.

The arrests come a day after prosecutors charged two brothers — Malachi Bay West, 20, and Sebastian Francis West, 19 — with a hate crime in connection to the same alleged assault.

A group of five to six people allegedly attacked the missionary, calling him a racial slur, hitting him and pushing him to the ground, on Jan. 28. The missionary and his companion were on their way to a family’s house near 200 North and 100 East when the group confronted them, police said.

Police said in a Thursday news release that “leads” pointed them to three additional suspects: a 19-year-old, a 17-year-old and a 16-year-old.

The youths’ names were not released. The Salt Lake Tribune generally doesn’t identify adults accused of crimes who haven’t been charged.

The statement says all three were “directly involved” in the attack but doesn’t say how. It adds that two of the three admitted they took part in the assault but that it was self-defense. The third person was “implicated” by other unknown evidence, according to the release.

The Tribune reached out to Payson police for comment Thursday afternoon but the department was closed.

The 19-year-old was booked into Utah County jail on suspicion of assault and criminal mischief. The 17-year-old was arrested for the same offenses and booked into Slate Canyon Youth Center in Provo.

The 16-year-old was also booked into Slate Canyon but on suspicion of aggravated assault, criminal mischief and obstruction of justice.

Police recommended the alleged assailants be charged with hate crimes and that the offenses include a gang enhancement.

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