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Fugitive sought in assault is jailed

Published: Wednesday, Feb. 11 2009 12:00 a.m. MST

A man who police say committed a hate crime when he punched a gay man, just after having his picture taken with him, was extradited back to Utah from Hawaii Tuesday and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail.

Fa Junior Moi Moi, 20, was put on the Salt Lake Police Department's Most Wanted list in November. On Aug. 9, 2008, Moi Moi met 18-year-old Carlos Lopez on Churchill Drive, a popular meeting spot for teenagers that overlooks the valley.

Lopez and his friends, and Moi Moi and his friends, happened to be on Churchill Drive at the same time and seemed to hit it off, even posing for pictures together, police said.

After the pictures were taken, Moi Moi asked Lopez if he was gay. When Lopez responded that he was, Moi Moi became enraged and punched Lopez several times, breaking his orbital bone, according to police. Police said several of Moi Moi's friends also participated in the beating.

By November, investigators had received information that Moi Moi had fled to Hawaii, where he has family, and they placed him on their most wanted list. About a month ago, Honolulu police helped Salt Lake police track Moi Moi down and arrested him. Over the weekend, detectives traveled to Hawaii to pick him up and return him to face charges in 3rd District Court of two counts of felony aggravated assault and one count of misdemeanor assault.

E-MAIL: preavy@desnews.com

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