Man accused in Ogden hanging, suspected in Spanish Fork homicide
OGDEN — A Springville man allegedly strangled and hanged a man on gym equipment in a random attack Saturday and reportedly confessed to an earlier slaying in Spanish Fork, according to charging documents.
An Ogden Police Department arrest affidavit said Christian Taele, 28, of Spanish Fork, allegedly told them he committed both attacks “because he was directed by a higher power and to purge the city.”
Police were called to an apartment building in the 2400 block of Adams Avenue at about 7:10 p.m. to investigate a 911 call about an assault and hanging. They found a 23-year-old man hanging by the neck from gym equipment. The man was hospitalized with no sign of brain activity, the arrest affidavit said. He remained in critical condition Monday morning.
A witness told police Taele approached the victim outside the building and began strangling him with a rope or strap and kicking him numerous times. Taele then allegedly dragged the victim into the gym.
Taele was at the scene and officers took him into custody and asked him about the incident. The affidavit said Taele allegedly “provided a detailed explanation about his intention to take the victim’s life.” The attack was unprovoked and there was no evidence the two knew one another, police said.
Police said Teale confessed to the Spanish Fork homicide and police from the Utah County city drove to Ogden to interview him.
Teale was held without bail at the Weber County Jail on suspicion of attempted murder. Further information was not immediately known about the Ogden case. Lt. William Farr, Ogden police spokesperson, said Monday he had no details beyond those in a social media post the department issued.
Spanish Fork Police Lt. Cory Slaymaker said Monday that the body of Ryan Hooley, 49, was found Friday near a dumpster behind a retail business at 400 East and 1000 North. Hooley appeared to have suffered blunt force trauma and stab wounds, Slaymaker said.
Spanish Fork and Ogden police are working together on the investigations.
According to 4th District Court records, Taele was facing charges related to an incident on a FrontRunner train in Lehi on May 18. Utah Transit Authority police challenged Teale for allegedly not paying a fare and then refusing to give his name. Taele allegedly disarmed an officer of a stun gun, resisted arrest and spat on an officer. He is charged with disarming a police officer and propelling a bodily substance at a peace officer, both third-degree felonies, and class B interfering with an arresting officer.