MAGNA, UT – A 41-year-old man was reportedly beaten to death by a group of at least five people behind a grocery store earlier in June.
According to police, the deceased was the victim of the fatal beating for allegedly giving his pregnant girlfriend a black eye days before the murder.
Details released after man beaten by group in Magna https://t.co/g2bNdiX8Jv
— FOX 13 News Utah (@fox13) June 15, 2021
On June 14th, a group of roughly five people, which included one 13-year-old, went to the girlfriend’s home of 41-year-old Fred Valdamar Ortiz to look at getting a puppy, as she’s reportedly a dog breeder.
While this group was at the victim’s girlfriend’s home, she allegedly told the group that Ortiz had given her a black eye two days earlier.
Ortiz happened to have driven by on a scooter while this group was still at the woman’s home, and the group started to chase after Ortiz.
Police say that a car being driven by 19-year-old Osyeanna Maria Martinez struck Ortiz during the pursuit, but Ortiz was still able to continue running.
The angry group eventually caught up with Ortiz at the back of a Smith’s Food and Drug located at 8055 West 3500 South.
UPDATE: Arrest reports released this morning say accusations of domestic violence led a mob to chase down and beat a man to death in alley behind a Magna grocery store. https://t.co/3KNOIJRmDp @KUTV2News @UPDSL
— Jeremy Harris (@JeremyHarrisTV) June 15, 2021
Surveillance video reportedly captured Martinez throwing two boards that struck the back of Ortiz’s head, and then began to punch and kick him.
Another suspect, identified as 18-year-old Xandre Sky Hill, was said to be seen on video beating Ortiz with a pole. Hill allegedly told police that he only tackled and punched Ortiz, but someone else used the pole on the victim.
When police were interviewing the suspects involved in the murder, a family member of Ortiz told police about the alleged domestic violence incident that inspired the group beating, according to he police report:
“[The family] have been scared to report it because [Ortiz] is on parole and his probation officer will not do anything to lock him up.”
This family member, identified in the police report only as M.P., was reportedly the daughter of Ortiz’s girlfriend who was allegedly assaulted days earlier by Ortiz.
M.P. had admitted to police that she was one of the first to get out of the car to attack Ortiz, trying to spray him with pepper spray, but the wind blew the pepper spray in her eyes and she ran into the Smith’s Food and Drug to wash her eyes out and didn’t see most of the attack.
Mob beat Utah man to death behind store over accusation of domestic violence, police say https://t.co/wqfFl75qPK
— Heidi Hatch KUTV (@tvheidihatch) June 15, 2021
A woman identified as “Hannah” in the report told police that Ortiz’s girlfriend was nearby while the group were beating Ortiz.
Hannah had told police that she asked Ortiz’s girlfriend to make the group stop the attack, which the girlfriend allegedly refused to do.
By the time authorities arrived on the scene of the beating, Ortiz was no longer breathing.
While police confirmed that as many as five people were involved in the fatal beating, arrest details have only been released for Martinez and Hill, both of whom have been charged with murder.
The other suspects mentioned in the police report have only been identified by their initials.
Currently, both Hill and Martinez are being held without bail.
This is an ongoing investigation.
Please follow Law Enforcement Today as we continue to gather further updates regarding this case.
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In other recent reports stemming from Utah, Law Enforcement Today shared a story about an armed teacher that reportedly thwarted an attempted kidnapping at a playground.
Here’s that previous report from May.
OGDEN, UT – An armed teacher in Utah thwarted an attempted kidnapping Tuesday after confronting a man who was trying to take an 11-year-old girl from an elementary school playground, investigators said.
Armed teacher stops kidnapping on Utah school playground https://t.co/gaIvHl2qjX
— Kyle Kashuv (@KyleKashuv) May 29, 2021
Police said the teacher, who is licensed to carry a concealed firearm, observed Ira Cox- Berry, 41, approach the child on the Lincoln Elementary School playground and attempt to drag her away.
The teacher, who has not been identified, ran outside and confronted Cox-Berry. While the teacher confronted the man, the child was able to flee to safety.
The teacher then gathered approximately 20 other students and ushered them into the school.
— Austin Kellerman (@AustinKellerman) May 27, 2021
Cox-Berry approached the school building, which was locked, and began punching a window attempting to get inside. That is when the heroic teacher drew a firearm to hold Cox-Berry until police arrived.
Police took Cox-Berry into custody after a brief struggle. Police said the man was under the influence of illegal narcotics at the time of the incident:
“The suspect was high, high on some type of narcotic.”
— Mia Anstine (@MiaAnstine) May 27, 2021
The teacher asked the media not to identify him because the incident could hurt his future career prospects.
Police are calling the teacher a hero for preventing a tragedy. Lt. Brian Eynon of Ogden City Police Department said:
‘This employee is protected under the Second Amendment. He followed all policy and procedure at the school, and in this particular case, did everything that he should have done to protect the innocent lives of the children at the school.
‘And in this case, it is likely that a life was saved or injury to a life was prevented due to the actions of this heroic employee.”
The teacher broke no laws and will not be charged with any crime, according to police.
Police said that Cox-Berry was unknown to the child’s parents, and they were investigating any connection between the two.
The school was placed on lockdown for a short period after the 2:30 p.m. incident.
School district spokesperson Jer Bates said a crisis response team was at the school Wednesday to discuss the incident with any students in need:
“At this time, to the best of our knowledge, the student is coping quite well considering the very traumatic experience that they endured.”
Bates praised the students and the teacher and said the school district appreciated the police department’s rapid response.
Bates said that no one was injured during the incident:
“We can confirm nobody was injured and everybody is accounted for. This is definitely something that is concerning for parents and school employees, and most of all concerning for our students.”
Bates said the teacher acted appropriately:
“A teacher intervened when there was a situation that threatened students’ safety. This teacher, this school employee, is a hero. We don’t disagree with that at all.
“Yes, it was a very scary situation, something we take very seriously, but it came out with a good ending, meaning no students were physically harmed, no adults were physically harmed, that this was an incident where our emergency response protocols were acted out.”
Cox-Berry was arrested and charged with child kidnapping. Police said other charges are pending.
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