Suspect in custody after man attacked with sledgehammer, children punched

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Posted at 11:32 AM, Aug 16, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-16 11:32:26-04

A suspect was taken into custody one day after police said he struck a man in the head with a sledgehammer and then proceeded to attack children at a nearby daycare center in Utah.

The suspect, a 17-year-old who police did not name because he is a juvenile, turned himself in to Utah's Payson Police Department around 4 a.m. local time Saturday, less than 24 hours after the attack.

He was charged with one count of attempted aggravated murder, two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated child abuse, two counts of child abuse, one count of burglary, one count of obstruction of justice, two counts of criminal trespassing and one count of disorderly conduct.

Police said they were called to the scene around 10:30 a.m. local time Friday after a woman reported exiting her home and witnessing a person striking her neighbor in his body and head with a sledgehammer.

The woman told police she shouted at the person to stop, and then said he turned his attention to her and began walking to her home, which is a daycare facility.

The person then began punching children and another adult before fleeing the area, police said.

A shelter-in-place was issued but lifted by Friday evening.

The man who was attacked with the sledgehammer was in the intensive care unit in critical condition as of Saturday, according to police.

The children received medical treatment for various injuries, though the extent of their injuries was not immediately clear.