Charges filed in 2014 assault; suspects allegedly yelled homophobic slurs during attack

Posted at 7:30 PM, Jul 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-20 21:30:17-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office has filed assault charges against two men who allegedly attacked two other men in 2014 and yelled homophobic slurs at them.

Eric Levi Johnson, 26, and Chad Ryan Doak, 24, face misdemeanor assault charges for the alleged incident, which took place December 21, 2014 in Salt Lake City.

According to a statement of probable cause, two men were walking home from a Christmas party and gave each other a hug. One of the victim’s homes is located near a gay bar.

As the two were hugging, Johnson and Doak began speaking aggressively toward the two men and lobbed homophobic slurs and statements. Doak allegedly punched one of the men in the face repeatedly, causing him to fall to the ground, while Johnson attacked the other man.

A neighbor and a nearby bouncer both came forward to stop the attack. The two suspects fled the scene upon hearing police would be called, but Doak left his wallet behind and came back for it.

Doak told a responding officer he “was probably involved” in the attack but was too drunk to remember. Johnson denied involvement.

One of the victims suffered cervical strain, head trauma and a rib contusion. He also had several teeth knocked out.

Johnson and Doak both faces assault charges as class A and class B misdemeanors. The release from the DA notes that, under current Utah law, committing a crime against someone due to their sexual preference, religion, race or ethnicity is not a hate crime.

“The charges in this case reflect the alleged physical injuries sustained by the victims.  But the law does not provide a means to capture the full measure of the alleged harm to the victims and the community,” the release from the DA states.

Arrest warrants have been issued for both Johnson and Doak.

It was not immediately clear why so much time elapsed between the alleged assault and the filing of charges. FOX 13 News will have more information as it becomes available.