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Payson police on scene after a reported attack at a residence and a daycare on Aug. 14, 2020 (Photo: Matt Rascon, KSL TV)
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Suspect From Alleged Payson Sledgehammer Attack Still At-Large

PAYSON, Utah – The Payson City Police Department has lifted shelter-in-place order for residents after a man reportedly attacked a resident with a sledgehammer before assaulting a group of children in a daycare.

The incident unfolded at approximately 10:30 a.m. Friday in the area of 500 North and 600 East.

KSL news specialist Matt Rascon spoke to a lieutenant on scene who said an unknown man arrived at a home in the area and attacked a man inside with a sledgehammer.

“A woman exited her home and witnessed an adult male striking her neighbor about the body and head with a sledgehammer,” according to a statement from PCPD.

“He was hit about the body and the head several times with a sledgehammer,” said Sgt. Noemi Sandoval with the Payson Police Department. “And she called out to the suspect stop.”

That next-door neighbor’s cry stopped the attack. But police said the suspect then turned his aggression toward her home, a daycare center, where he hit several children and another adult with his fists.

“I saw a man throw a sledgehammer over the fence, and then he hopped over the fence and that’s when my mom said, ‘Get the kids inside,'” said Abigail Murdoch, who was at the daycare. “He had grabbed the 13-year-old back by her hair and started punching her in the nose.”

Officials said the suspect dropped the sledgehammer before he entered the daycare, and there’s no indication he used to a weapon on the children.

“It’s really disturbing honestly,” Sandoval said. “We don’t have this stuff happen in Payson. We’re a quiet community. Neighbors watch out for neighbors so it’s really disturbing that this happened.”

The suspect fled on foot and is still on the loose.

Payson Police Release Video Of Assault Suspect

BREAKING: Payson Police Department – Utah has released surveillance video of a suspect accused of attacking a man with a sledgehammer and assaulting six or seven children at a daycare facility.The suspect remains at-large.Updates will be posted here:

Posted by KSL 5 TV on Friday, August 14, 2020

“The children are receiving medical treatment for various injuries,” according to police. “The extent is still unknown and their parents have been notified.”

Sandoval said six or seven children were taken to the hospital by ambulance.

The woman at the daycare told KSL the 13-year-old suffered a broken nose and scrapes, and another child required stitches to his forehead.

The Payson resident who was attacked with the sledgehammer was airlifted to the hospital. A neighbor told KSL the victim was out of surgery but remained in critical condition Friday night.

The suspect was described as a 5-foot-6 adult male with long, black hair that was tied in a bun. He was wearing a black shirt and black shorts. He was possibly accompanied by a white male with no shirt and covered with tattoos.

Police asked anyone with surveillance cameras to check them for footage of the suspects.

Payson residents were asked to shelter in place, and businesses were asked to “use their discretion as to whether they choose to shut down” until Friday evening, when the order was lifted.

“This neighborhood is about the quietest place I’ve ever lived,” said Matt Poland, who lives a couple of houses away from where the incident happened.

Poland returned home to his family from work after learning about the attack and the subsequent shelter-in-place order.

“Definitely a sick person,” he said of the suspect. “I don’t know why you would ever consider turning your attention towards a bunch of kids, let alone a daycare.”

KSL 5 TV Live

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