BOUNTIFUL, Utah -- The victim doesn't know what motivated a violent beating, but he said if it wasn't for his military training in Afghanistan, he may have not survived the attack.
He didn't want to be identified, but a Bountiful man said he's met women in person several times after communicating with them on meet-me.com. Then, after chatting with his newest acquaintance for three weeks, a red flag arose—he had yet to see a picture of the so-called woman.
"I just decided, 'Whatever, she's probably just self-conscious and doesn't want to take a picture.’ So I still decided to go through with it,” he said.
He showed up Oct. 6 at Vae View Park in Layton, where he said two men in their late teens or early ‘20s attacked him.
"They were running at me, and that's when I heard them and I turned around and they were literally about 10, maybe 5 feet away, with baseball bats up in swinging position,” the victim said of the attack.
Lt. Shawn Horton of the Layton Police Department said the suspect’s faces were obscured.
"They had some type of mask on their face, and they had assaulted him with baseball bats," he said.
He wasn't robbed, but he considers the crime premeditated. The victim suffered a 3-inch gash on his head and a broken arm.
"The ER doctor said those blows could've killed me, so it was obviously an attempted murder is what I think it was,” he said.
Fortunately, he managed to get on his feet during the attack.
"Combat training for physical strength and learning jiujitsu and everything helped me get out of that situation," he said.
The victim’s mother said that training was critical.
"He was able to stay focused even though he had a severe head wound that required stitches,” she said. “He was able to stay focused, get in his car and get away."
Police officials said they don’t have any suspects at this point.
"The profile of the two people or the girl, or whatever, is not even on the website anymore, so obviously they deactivated their account," the victim said.
Cops will go through the victim's cell phone records, and they said they hope the public can help too.
Layton police said it would've been much safer for the victim to meet an online acquaintance at a public place, such as a coffee shop. If you saw this incident or have any information about it or the suspects, you can confidentially report information to Layton police at (801) 497-8300