Man acted 'like a zombie' in hammer attack, jail records say

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WEST VALLEY CITY — Witnesses told police that Gerardo Enrique Perez was "acting like a zombie" when he beat a man with a hammer, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.

On Wednesday, Perez, 19, of West Valley City, was arrested after allegedly attacking a man, apparently at random, and severely injuring him.

Perez was booked into jail for investigation of attempted murder, aggravated assault, aggravated burglary and interfering with an arresting officer.

Just before 5 p.m., Perez approached a 68-year-old man who was outside his home near 5600 West and 4800 South and levied an attack that was "unprovoked," the report states.

Perez, who was carrying a hammer and a large kitchen knife, hit his victim "multiple times in the head," police wrote. The victim went back into his house where he fell on the floor. Perez followed, "got on top of (the man) and kept hitting him in the head" while shouting "I'm going to kill you," the report states.

The man remained hospitalized Thursday in critical condition with severe head injuries, according to West Valley police.

When Perez left the house, several people followed him. He was still holding a knife and hammer "in an aggressive manner," according to the report. Witnesses told police he was "yelling and screaming as if he was either high or drunk." One resident took out a gun and pointed it at Perez when he approached him, causing Perez to flee to his house nearby.

Witnesses directed officers to the home. Police surrounded Perez's house and when they attempted to arrest him he resisted "to the point where a Taser had to be deployed as well as (pepper) spray," the report states.

In his mug shot, Perez is in a wheelchair-like device typically used for inmates who either refuse to walk or can't.

Utah state court records show Perez was convicted of consumption or possession of alcohol by a minor in measurable amounts, a class B misdemeanor. In 2012, a hit-and-run case was transferred to juvenile court.


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Pat Reavy


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