Charges filed in attack that spotlighted hate-crime law

Published 02-22-2019

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Prosecutors have filed misdemeanor assault and other charges against a man accused of throwing a punch at a stranger in Salt Lake City after confirming he was gay.

Charges filed Friday say Carlo Alazo of Tampa, Florida, was the man captured on cell-phone video that gained widespread attention online over the weekend.

It also drew attention to the debate over Utah's hate-crimes law, which doesn't protect specific groups and prosecutors have said is essentially unusable.

A proposal to strengthen it passed a legislative committee this week, though it's expected to face a tight vote on the Senate floor.

Alazo was charged with two counts of assault and one of threatening to use a dangerous weapon for allegedly brandishing a knife.

No attorney was immediately listed for him, and a phone number went unanswered.

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