A week ago, 50-year-old Alan Dale Covington entered Lopez Tires in Salt Lake City, Utah and attacked two Mexican-American men with a pole. While Covington allegedly said he was there to “kill a Mexican,” the state won’t charge him with a hate crime because of a legal technicality. But in the light of the gruesome attack, the story has gone viral and many have chipped in to help the men who were assaulted.
An hour after the store opened last week, 18-year-old Luis López stepped outside to try to attend to Covington. “I came out to ask if he needed anything, and the first thing he said to me was, ‘You guys killed my fucking daughter,” Luis recalled, according to NBC News. Covington asked if he was Mexican and if he had ties to the Mexican mafia. His father, José López, had been in the back microwaving a chicken soup when he heard his son screaming. He ran outside and Covington also attacked him. The two ended up going to the hospital and were released Friday morning. José got eight stitches, and Luis, who was unconscious after the attack, underwent a three-hour surgery, BuzzFeed reported.
The state charged Covington with two counts of aggravated assault, as well as other drug and weapon charges. However, he won’t be charged with a hate crime because it only applies to certain misdemeanor charges. The law is so rigid that in the last 20 years that it’s been in place, no one has been convicted of a hate crime in the state. However, the family certainly considers it a hate crime. In a GoFundMe page that family member Veronica López launched, she wrote that her brother and dad were “victims of a hate crime.”
“My [dad’s] business has been closed since,” she added. “My dad got eight stitches in his arm and has his back severely bruised due to the blow he received,. My [brother’s] 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 my dad, [have] any health insurance.”
The family hoped to raise $20,000 originally, but has received more than $60,000 in donations since. Visit the GoFundMe page to donate.