Man assaulted, critically injured while tailgating outside U of U game

SALT LAKE CITY – A man was critically injured after an alleged assault at a parking lot used for tailgating at the University of Utah, and the attack occurred as the Utes were playing against Arizona State Saturday.

Sgt. Garth Smith of the University of Utah Police Department confirmed to FOX 13 News that an individual was taken to a hospital in critical condition after an alleged aggravated assault that occurred at about 4 p.m. Saturday. Officials said Sunday he remains in serious condition.

The victim was identified to FOX 13 News by his family as 21-year-old Ryan Stone, who is a U of U fan but not a student at the school.

Stone’s family told FOX 13 News Sunday he is awake and talking, but they said he suffered a brain injury during the attack. Stone also sustained a large cut on his head and two skull fractures, his family said.

“He’s recovering,” Julie Morgan said. “He has a fractured skull and bleeding on the brain. He’s doing better. He’s going to be in the hospital for a couple more days.”

Julie and Craig Morgan said their son, Ryan, has been tailgating with them at that parking lot for 15 years. The couple said they left the game during the second half, and they said when they got home they got a call in which they were told their son was unconscious in an emergency room and in critical condition.

Julie Morgan said she hopes those responsible are found.

“He’s just a very smart, young, athletic, great kid,” she said. “He’s everything to us, and I just hope they find who did it.”

Police officials said detectives are looking for those responsible for the attack. They are currently searching for a white male with brown hair. He was last seen wearing a blue baseball cap, white sunglasses and a grey Aeropostale sweatshirt. They are also looking for a woman who’s about 6 feet tall, and was last seen wearing all black.

Julie Morgan said they are hopeful for the future.

“I think he’s going to be fine, just a long recovery,” she said. “And he’s just one of those kinds of people that’s hard to keep down, so he’ll be OK.”

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