Alan Dale Covington is a 50-year-old black man who was arrested this week after entering a mechanic shop in Salt Lake City and attacking a Mexican man and his father.
Covington reportedly yelled about how he hated Mexicans and wanted to kill a Mexican at the time of the assault.
Here’s what you need to know.
1. Covington Attacked a Mexican Father & Son at a Mechanic Shop
Earlier this week, Covington entered a mechanic shop in Salt Lake City and began to threaten an 18-year-old man named Luis Gustavo Lopez with a five foot pole. According to the Salt Lake Tribune, Covington yelled, “I hate Mexicans. I f—ing hate Mexicans … I’m here to kill a Mexican.”
Lopez’s father, 51-year-old Jose Lopez, tried to protect his son, but then his son stepped in front of him and was hit in the face with the pole. Jose Lopez was also hit in the arm and back.
Covington ran away when another family ran in to see what was happening.
2. Police Say Covington Was Under the Influence of Drugs During the Incident
Salt Lake police are saying that Covington was under the influence of drugs at the time of the attack.
Salt Lake detective Greg Wilking also suggested that Covington might have some “mental health issues” that could have “clouded his judgement,” but reiterated that police are still considering whether this could have been a motivated hate crime, as well.
Wilking said, “He wasn’t really based in reality. We don’t want to ignore a hate crime if it’s a hate crime, but we don’t want to make it a hate crime if there’s not that aspect of it.”
3. Luis Gustavo Lopez Has Been in the Intensive Care Unit Since the Incident Occurred
Luis Gustavo Lopez suffered a shattered cheekbone and eye socket, as well as a collapsed sinus, from the incident with Covington.
Veronica Lopez, Jose’s daughter, said to the Salt Lake Tribune, “They’re very shaken up. My family feels targeted.”
4. The Lopez Family Blames the Trump Administration in Part for the Uptick in Racial Violence in Their Neighborhood
The Lopez family has since said that they’ve seen a massive uptick in racial violence and racial slurs in their area. Veronica Lopez said, “You just hear more of it now,” according to The Hill.
Covington has been charged with two counts of aggravated assault for the incident. It’s unclear if he will be charged with a hate crime, as well.
In addition to Covington’s suspected mental health issues, Wilking further mentioned that Covington has spent time behind bars in the past, and that he had spoken about his fear of being attacked by a specific member in the Mexican Mafia, a California-based gang.
5. The Lopez Family Has Created a GoFundMe to Help Pay for Luis Gustavo Lopez’s Medical Bills
Veronica Lopez started a GoFundMe for her brother on Friday. The page has already raised over $ 32,000 in a day, surpassing the $ 20,000 goal.
The page reads, “On November 27 2018 my brother Luis G Lopez and Jose L Lopez were victims of a hate crime at my dads mechanic shop Lopez Tires. My dads business has been closed since. My dad got 8 stitches in his arm and has his back severely bruised due to the blows he received. My brothers right side of his face was shattered, he had a three hour surgery to place a titanium plate from the right side of his face to his nose to be able to attach the bones and keep his eyeball in place and a plate under that. We are asking for your help through this difficult time, being that my brother nor dad of any health insurance.”
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