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Teen still `extremely critical' after beating near a school

A South Salt Lake boy remained hospitalized in "extremely critical" condition Friday with injuries he received when he was struck in the head with a baseball bat during a brawl Thursday.

Police found John Ball, 17, with "massive head injuries" on some grass near Wilson Woodrow Elementary, 2825 S. 200 East, said South Salt Lake Police Sgt. Beau Babka. Paramedics airlifted Ball to a local hospital.Police believe Ball and a friend met four males at the school with the intent to fight about 4:30 p.m. During the brawl, Ball was struck with the bat and possibly a tire iron, Babka said.

The four males fled after the fight, witnesses said. Police found three juveniles and one adult minutes later about two blocks away. Officers arrested the adult, 19, and one of the juveniles, 17, for investigation of attempted murder, Babka said. Police believe the two are gang members.

The 19-year-old, address unknown, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail. The man may have hit Ball with a tire iron, Babka said.

The 17-year-old boy, from South Salt Lake, is in detention. Police believe the he was the one who swung the bat, Babka said.

"If he (Ball) dies, we'll probably look at a homicide investigation," Babka said.

The other two juveniles were not arrested.

After a four-hour foot search, investigators found a bat they believe was used to strike the victim. It was in a front yard of a resident near the school.