2 arrested, 1 on attempted murder, after alleged attack in Washington City that left man in critical condition

Stock image | Photo by Oleksandr Filon/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — An alleged attack involving several suspects that took place during a get together at a home in Washington City on Saturday has left a man in critical condition at the hospital. One suspect has been booked into jail facing attempted murder, while a second man was booked on aggravated assault.

Area off Washington Fields Road where an altercation broke out during a house party in Washington City, Utah | Photo courtesy of Google Maps, St. George News

The arrests were made after officers were advised that a man had been admitted to St. George Regional Hospital shortly after 4 a.m. Sunday following a violent encounter that took place the night before, according to charging documents filed in support of the arrests.

The man was taken to the hospital where he was being treated for two stab wounds to his side that punctured his right lung, along with a fractured wrist, one of which required a metal implant to repair. He also suffered “a multitude of contusions to his head, neck, and upper body,” the report states, noting that the attack left the man in critical condition and his injuries required continued medical intervention at the hospital.

The man had gone to a party at a residence off Washington Fields Road. During the party, the man was allegedly assaulted by several other men following a disagreement.

According to the report, the home’s security system captured the incident as it unfolded, starting when the man was initially confronted in the backyard of the residence, where he was attacked by at least three other men, one of whom appeared to be a man wearing dark blue clothing. As the altercation continued, the footage showed the three suspects delivering a series of violent punches, all hitting the man simultaneously until several onlookers broke up the encounter.

The man appeared dazed immediately after the attack, the officer noted, but was able to get up and was seen walking from the residence.

Minutes later, a second incident took place in the street directly in front of the home, where about six men continued the assault on the injured man. The altercation was filmed by several bystanders, and the footage was later turned over to investigators.

The footage showed the victim being knocked to the ground, where he lay “defenseless,” the officer noted, while the suspects continued kicking and punching him. As the assault by the six men was taking place, one of the suspects seen earlier wearing the dark blue clothing then approached the injured man lying in the street and appeared to stab the man twice “in quick succession,” the report states.

Once again, several other partygoers who witnessed the altercation called for the attack to be broken up. As the suspects walked away, the man who was the target of the reported attack appeared to be unconscious and he was left lying in the street.

During an interview at the hospital, the man said he was unable to recall the second attack and explained that the next thing he remembered was waking up in the hospital.

With information from two videos and multiple witness statements, officers said they had reason to believe the suspect who stabbed the man was 27-year-old Darian Orozco-Salas.

Officers located the suspect in his hotel room Wednesday morning, and he was subsequently detained by police. During an interview, Orozco-Salas allegedly said he stabbed the victim twice using a steak knife he had retrieved from the residence following the initial altercation in the backyard.

The suspect allegedly went on to tell police “he had stabbed the victim as he was very mad at some remarks” the man had made during the party and explained he did not intended to kill him, but only to hurt him.

Orozco-Salas was arrested and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility facing one second-degree felony count of attempted murder, as the officer noted Salas intended to cause serious bodily injury to another by committing an act that was “clearly dangerous to human life.” The suspect also faces a disorderly conduct charge.

Meanwhile, a second suspect was identified by several witnesses as being one of the aggressors in the reported attack, 21-year-old Ivan Rosenberg-Johnson, who was reportedly seen in the footage wearing light-colored pants and a sweatshirt.

In the footage, Rosenberg-Johnson can be seen striking the man approximately a dozen times in quick succession during the initial altercation in the backyard. He was also allegedly seen kicking the man twice while another suspect held the man down just before the fight was broken up seconds later.

During the second incident which reportedly took place in front of the residence, the same suspect was allegedly seen kicking the man once and then punching him at least three times.

The officer went on to write, “I found the victim to be completely defenseless to the assaults by this male suspect and those participating.”

Rosenberg-Johnson was arrested and booked into jail on second-degree felony aggravated assault.

The investigation into the incident is ongoing and more information will be released as it becomes available, Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News.

Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained. 

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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