Man charged with punching and killing one man, assaulting two others

One victim suffered a fractured skull and died four days later.

A man has been charged in three separate, unprovoked attacks in Salt Lake City, one resulting in another man’s death.

Juan Ayala Jr., 46, — aka “Gorilla” — was charged in 3rd District Court with homicide by assault, a third-degree felony; aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; and two counts of assault, class B misdemeanors.

On May 17, police were called to 220 S. Rio Grand Street and found Bernardo Perez unconscious and bleeding from the head. He suffered a fractured skull and died of his injuries on May 21.

Another man told police that he and his friend were in a tent nearby when two men approached, demanded he turn over food and a thermos and beat him with a stick and a large metal pole when he refused. They then stole the food and his laptop.

One of the attackers was later identified as Ayala; the second was previously charged in the assault.

According to police, in addition to witnesses who identified Ayala they found surveillance video of Ayala punching Perez and video of the two men assaulting the second victim. Video also shows Ayala attacking a third man later in the day.

According to the charges, Ayala admitted to the assaults and that he was the man seen in the video punching Perez. He was booked into the Salt Lake County jail, where he is being held without bail.