Two men were arrested Tuesday by Salt Lake County sheriff's deputies after investigators say they attacked a teenager with a medieval battle ax.
The key to catching the men was their apparent affiliation with Juggalos.
The men, both 21, were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault. The two were at the home of a 17-year-old Kearns boy at about 4:30 a.m.
One of the men was jealous of the victim text messaging a girl, according to jail documents. He also believed he contracted a sexually transmitted disease from the girl, which she in turn got from the victim, jail documents state.
During the altercation with the victim, that man stabbed the teen with a knife and the other man struck him with a medieval battle ax type of weapon in the back of his neck, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak. Doctors needed about 300 stitches to close the wound, he said. He was last listed in critical condition at a local hospital.
"The detective investigating the case said the ax could have very well have decapitated him," Jaroscak said.
The weapon used has also been described as a four-sided "warrior's ax," according to the sheriff's office.
Deputies responding to the scene happened to spot a piece of jewelry that was dropped by the attackers, which the deputy identified as being associated with Juggalos.
Juggalos are fans of the rap group Insane Clown Posse, known for their violent lyrics. During a recent Utah Gang Conference, however, law enforcers said they now classified Juggalos as a gang because of a continued pattern of criminal activity. Gang detectives estimated there are 3,000 to 4,000 Juggalos in Utah, with about 70 percent of them being people who just like the music.
But the other percentage of self-proclaimed Juggalos overshadow the law-abiding fans with their consistent criminal behavior, according to police.
After finding the piece of jewelry, deputies also noticed a vehicle driving past the crime scene with a Juggalo sticker in the window, according to the jail report. Deputies stopped the car with one attacker inside who confessed to his role in the crime, the report stated.The other attacker's wallet was also found in the vehicle, police said. He was later arrested by West Jordan police.