Police arrest teen for Payson sledgehammer and day care center attack

(Screen shot of surveillance footage released by Payson Police Department) Surveillance video shows a man accused of using a sledgehammer to beat a man on Friday, Aug. 14, 2020. The man is then accused of entering a day care center and punching children. Police were looking for him Friday, asking residents to shelter in place.

Payson Police arrested a 17-year-old early Saturday and charged him with attacking a man with a sledgehammer, and then entering a day care center and punching several children.

That attack had led to a shelter-in-place order for much of Friday in Payson.

A news release said the teen turned himself in at 4 a.m. on Saturday, after police were able to identify him with leads provided by the public after many residents provided home surveillance videos to help.

The teen has been booked into the Slate Canyon Youth Detention facility. Because he is a juvenile, police will not release his name.

Police said the teen was charged with attempted aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated child abuse, two counts of child abuse, burglary, obstruction of justice, two counts of criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.

That came after an attack at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. A woman reported that a man was attacking a neighbor with a sledgehammer near the intersection of 600 East and 500 South.

When the woman yelled for him to stop, the attacker turned his attention on her, police said. The attacker walked into her house, which is a day care facility, and started hitting children and another adult with his fists. The attacker then ran off.

The police said on Saturday that the man who was hit with the sledgehammer is in critical condition in an intensive care unit.