ST. GEORGE — A St. George man was arrested Saturday for aggravated assault following a monthslong investigation into the brutal attack of a man – an incident caught on video and later turned over to police. Two suspects are still at large, police say.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, 22-year-old Riley Trey Ballard of St. George was arrested Saturday on a second-degree felony aggravated assault charge in connection with his alleged involvement in an attack that took place shortly after 4 a.m. on Oct. 24.
Officers were dispatched to the area of 1002 N. 1900 E., just north of Red Hills Parkway, on what was initially reported as a disorderly call. While en route, the report states, officers were notified by emergency dispatch that a man had reportedly been taunting several other men into fighting him, and that same man was “driving his vehicle intoxicated,” the officer noted in the report.
The investigation into the incident was launched after police arrived and found the man sitting in his vehicle bleeding profusely from a head wound. Authorities say he also had a large “hole” on the side of his nose just below the eye socket.
The man reportedly told police he had been “jumped” by three men who “looked like cowboys,” who “curb stomped” him, adding that the men stomped his head into the concrete near the road multiple times. He did not know the names of the three suspects, the report states.
The injured man was then arrested for DUI and transported to St. George Regional Hospital to be treated for his injuries, which, police say, were extensive. In addition to the lacerations to the man’s head, treating physicians reportedly told authorities that the man sustained a broken nose and a severe concussion during the attack.
Later that same day, officers were contacted by a witness who told police the incident was captured on his home surveillance system that showed a physical altercation between the victim and three other men. The video was picked up by officers and collected as evidence.
Officers were able to identify Ballard as one of the suspects allegedly involved in the incident after comparing the image captured in the video to an earlier booking photo taken of the suspect.
The footage showed it was Ballard, one of three suspects involved in the incident, who first appeared to trip the victim. Once the man was on the ground, the video showed all three men “brutally stomping” on the man’s head for approximately 25-30 seconds.
During the attack, Ballard could be seen punching the man four times in the face before kicking the man three times in the back and then stomping on the man’s head six times, the report states. The suspect was then seen kicking the victim directly in the face twice before he walked away.
The footage then showed the injured man lying in the street and appearing unconscious for roughly 10 seconds. Once he got to his feet he was seen stumbling out of view, the report says.
Through the course of the investigation, officers responded to the area where the attack allegedly occurred and found a large pool of blood that purportedly came from the victim’s head. Later, officers scouring the area located the house where the altercation began and spoke to a number of individuals who witnessed the incident.
On Saturday, when Ballard was interviewed by officers at the jail following his arrest, he reportedly admitted to taking part in the attack. On Monday, the suspect was formally charged with the offense. No further details on any the other suspects were available at the time of this report.
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.
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