Estimated read time: 4-5 minutes
SANDY — Mykl Neufeld says he heard the commotion coming from nearby Dewey Bluth Park, so he went to see what was going on.
"I heard a bunch of yelling and screaming, basically a whole bunch of kids in the back here by Dewey Park," Neufeld said.
When he got to the park, Neufeld said it appeared a group of teens were getting ready to fight. He stepped in to try and break it up.
"I just tried to calm everything down, have everybody leave," he told KSL-TV.
Instead, the teens turned their aggression toward Neufeld.
A couple of boys punched the 52-year-old, and then several boys continued to kick and stomp on Neufeld even when he was on the ground, according to police. When officers arrived at the park, they found Neufeld "lying on the ground semi-conscious, bleeding from his head," charging documents state. Neufeld was unable to speak to police but was able to squeeze an officer's hand.
He was transported to a local hospital in critical condition. When detectives attempted to question him later that day, Neufeld couldn't remember what had happened, the charges state. Doctors told police that among his many injuries was a brain bleed.
That was on Oct. 17. Today, Neufeld is at home recovering from the injuries he sustained in the brutal attack.
"A broken ankle, a skull fracture, lacerations to the head, seven staples put in the left side of my head," he said. Neufeld is now left with blurred vision, vertigo and constant pain.
"I go to bed every day with headaches."
Four boys, ranging from ages 15 to 17, were charged in 3rd District Juvenile Court with aggravated assault resulting in serious injury, a first-degree felony; and rioting, a third-degree felony.
A witness recorded the confrontation on a cellphone. In the video, Neufeld is seen arguing with the boys, and then starts to walk away, charging documents state. One 15-year-old boy then approaches Neufeld "and punches him several times" as the victim "continues backing away." A second boy, 16, then runs by and punches Neufeld in the head as the first boy continues to hit Neufeld until he is knocked to the ground, the charges state.
The second boy then gets on top of Neufeld while he is on the ground "and punches him in the head several times, until he loses consciousness," according to the charges.
But the violent attack doesn't stop there. Two other boys, ages 15 and 17, then join in and kick Neufeld's face and stomp on his head, charging documents state. Other teens nearby then begin pulling the boys off of Neufeld and render aid to him.
While the teens were trying to help, the 16-year-old is heard in the video yelling, "I will (expletive) kill you," and "then runs up to an unconscious and bleeding (victim) and stomps on his head with all his weight, smashing it against the concrete," the charging documents say.
Sandy police could not confirm whether the boys attend nearby Jordan High School. But with the help of a Jordan High school resource officer who viewed the video, police were able to identify the boys and round them up that night. After being arrested, one boy "stated that he felt horrible about the incident and should never have been involved" while another boy "stated that he changed his clothes because he felt gross and disgusting after the incident."
The 15-year-old boy who was involved in the original confrontation that Neufeld was trying to break up told police that he told Neufeld "to mind his own business," and said he "doesn't know why he started swinging on (Neufeld)," according to the charges, "other than (Neufeld) told him to swing on him. (The teen) stated he just did what the guy wanted and that was to punch him."
I think we, as a society, need to be better. We need to make better judgments and just need to be better human beings to each other.
– Mykl Neufeld
Neufeld's bedroom window faces Dewey Bluth Park, 170 E. Sego Lily Drive, in Sandy. He said there are many issues at the park, mainly involving teenagers.
Neufeld hasn't seen the video the teens circulated on Snapchat after the attack and said he doesn't want to. While he hopes justice is served to the teens, he said it's more important for him to focus on his own well-being.
"I think we, as a society, need to be better. We need to make better judgments and just need to be better human beings to each other."