A third man has been charged with a hate crime in the alleged assault on a black Latter-day Saint missionary in Payson on Jan. 28.
Nathan W. Thomas, 19, of Santaquin, was charged in 4th District Court with assault with a hate crime enhancement — the same charge filed against two Payson brothers, Malachi Bay West, 20, and Sebastian Francis West, 19.
According to police, the victim and a second missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints arrived at a Payson house shortly after a group of six or seven teenagers and men in dark hoodies with bandanas covering the lower halves of their faces began threatening a resident of the home. One of the missionaries, who is “Panamanian and dark skinned,” asked the suspects to leave, and pulled out his cellphone when they refused. One of the suspects grabbed the missionary’s phone and threw it across the street.
When the missionary retrieved his phone, the suspects “swore and yelled” at him, “repeatedly calling him a [n-word],” according to a probable cause statement. One of the suspects “brandished spiked, brass knuckles,” and when the missionary tried to retreat, he was tackled, punched in the head and then “punched and kicked repeatedly by the group” and “tackled to the ground.” As they were attacking the missionary, the suspects said, “Go home, you stupid [n-word]”; “This is our town [n-word]”; “Go back to slavery, stupid [n-word]”; and “Go back to Bible school, you filthy, stupid [n-word].”
The missionary suffered injuries to his lips, head, shoulder, ribs and forehead. The second missionary, who is white, was not attacked or injured.
According to the probable cause statement, Thomas and the West brothers all “admitted to police that they were present and participated in the assault against the victim.”
Two minors — 16-year-old boy and a 17-year-old boy — have also been arrested for investigation of assault, criminal mischief and obstruction of justice, according to police.
Thomas was booked into the Utah County jail; his bail was set at $7,500. Malachi and Sebastian West each posted $5,000 bail and were released.