Relative Says Sledgehammer Attack Victim Showing Small Signs Of Progress
PAYSON, Utah – The man severely injured in last week’s sledgehammer attack in Payson showed small signs of progress in the hospital over the weekend but remained in critical condition, a family member said Monday.
“They are getting some reflex responses from some of the treatments and he did give a little bit of a response yesterday on a verbal command,” Justin Curtis said. “It’s just something we’re going to take one day at a time and see how he does.”
Curtis said his brother was struck on the right side of his head as well as his right hip in the sledgehammer attack that apparently happened at random Friday morning.
According to Curtis as well as neighbors, it appeared nobody knew the alleged attacker, who had been captured on one home’s surveillance video as he rapidly swung his arms as he walked down the sidewalk.
Payson police said a 17-year-old male turned himself in early Saturday morning in connection with the rampage, which extended to a neighboring day care when police said the suspect hopped a fence and began assaulting children and workers on that property.
Curtis said he has been navigating a range of thoughts and emotions over what happened.
“There is certainly a part of me that would like to, you know, take a baseball bat to this kid, but I know that’s not going to solve anything,” Curtis said. “He’s got to be held accountable for his actions.”
He said after facing a number of trials in his own life, he would like to see the teenager find help.
“In my drug and alcohol addiction, I was a lost individual,” Curtis said. “I don’t know what this kid’s life is about, but I know what my life was about and as a person who believes in Jesus, I believe from personal experience that when the right kind of love touches you, it changes you.”
Curtis said the support and love he received helped him.
“All I can do is hope that that would happen to this young man,” Curtis said. “For whatever consequences he might face, he’ll be able to face them with a different kind of perspective.”
Curtis said family is continuing to find hope in minor developments in their loved one’s health and they appreciated the thoughts and prayers from the community.
“What we hear from some of the minor responses gives us a lot of hope that at least there’s something there,” Curtis said. “We’re hoping that things will turn out good.”
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