HIGH 5

Business Donates $5K After Competitor’s Son Hospitalized

Dec 17, 2018, 12:39 PM

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – In Utah, it’s neighbors helping neighbors as one Utah company is lending a helping hand to one of its competitors.

Last month, a man walked into Lopez Tires with a metal pipe and beat the owner’s son, leaving him fighting for his life.

Wendel and Ron Burt, of Burt Brothers Tire and Service, learned from a customer that Jose Lopez and his son, Luis, had been targeted.

Lopez Tires had just opened for the day on Nov. 27 when a man they’d never seen before walked onto the property and began taking swings at Luis and Joze with a metal pipe. He eventually struck 18-year-old Luis.

The reason — according to police and the family — was because they are Mexican.

The blows were so severe that Luis had to be hospitalized and needed surgery for a shattered cheekbone. Jose was also struck while trying to protect his son and needed stitches in his arm.

When the Burt Brothers found out, they and their employees stepped up to help the family.

“We wanted to present you a $5,000 check to help weather the storm,” Wendel said to a tearful Jose.

“We’re your friends, we’re your fellow businessmen, and we understand what it takes to make a living in the tire business,” Ron said. “We’re here for you, OK?”

Jose thanked the brothers repeatedly, saying he doesn’t speak much English and din’t know how to explain his gratitude.

“He’s just really grateful,” said Jose’s daughter, Marisol Lopez. “Really, we appreciate everything. Thank you so much.”

The Lopezes said they were overwhelmed, especially since the family-run business had to close its doors for more than a week while Luis was in the hospital.

“This is my family’s sole business,” Marisol said. “… (It’s) where the income comes from, and it really is a big help.”

The Burts said they were grateful for their customers because without them and their loyal support, this wouldn’t have been possible.

While giving a $5,000 donation is a great gift to the Lopez family, the Burts said the bigger gift is having the Lopez family in their lives.

“Well, we hope to make some lifelong friends,” Wendel said. “Yes, definitely.”

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Business Donates $5K After Competitor’s Son Hospitalized