An 18-year-old man and a 19-year-old woman have been arrested in the beating death of a 41-year-old man in Magna on Monday.
According to a probable cause statement, a witness told police that she and the 18-year-old man went to a home in Magna on Monday afternoon, hoping to buy a puppy. Police quote the witness as saying they found a pregnant woman at the home, who had a black eye, who said she had been beaten by the father of her unborn child — Fred Valdamar Ortiz — two days earlier.
While they were at the home, Ortiz was seen riding by on a non-motorized scooter, the witness told police, and three other people — including a 13-year-old — chased after him.
The witness and the 18-year-old man followed in their car and, the witness told police, saw the 19-year-old suspect hit Ortiz with her car in a supermarket parking lot at 8055 W. 3500 South. Ortiz then ran, pursued by the 19-year-old woman, the 18-year-old man and a third person, who caught him and began beating him. The witness said she saw the third person hit Ortiz with a pole while he was on the ground, and that she told the female suspect to make the others stop but she did not.
Police say they obtained surveillance video of the attack, which they claim shows the female suspect chasing Ortiz, throwing two boards at him, grabbing him, punching him and kicking him. The video also shows, police say, the male suspect carrying a long pole, and all three pursuers beating Ortiz.
When officers arrived at the scene, Ortiz was unconscious and not breathing. He was taken to Intermountain Medical Center, where he died that afternoon.
When questioned by police, the 18-year-old man admitted he tackled and punched Ortiz, according to a probable cause statement. The 19-year-old woman admitted grabbing Ortiz and hitting him with the pieces of wood, but denied hitting him with her car.
Both suspects were booked into the Salt Lake County jail for investigation of homicide. They are being held without bail. The investigation into the killing continues. Police did not say if there will be more arrests.
The Salt Lake Tribune generally does not name suspects until they have been formally charged with a crime.