A 62-year-old Utah man is dead after a young woman falsely accused him of sexual assault.
What are the details?
An unnamed 16-year-old called her 17-year-old brother and told her that an elderly man sexually assaulted her on a bus. The unnamed teen said that the man — later identified as Michael Fife — assaulted her while the two were riding a city bus.
Just minutes after hearing about the alleged incident — which took place in April — the teen’s brother tracked Fife down when the bus made a stop and Fife got off.
According to a press release by the Logan City Police Department, the unidentified teen male rushed Fife, assaulting him, and knocking him to the ground.
Chief Gary Jensen with the Logan City Police Department told KSTU-TV that the male teen rushed Fife in “[k]ind of a linebacker-type charge.”
“This is an absolutely horrible event,” Jensen added.
A portion of the press release went on to describe what happened to Fife after the teen attacked him.
“Mr. Fife fell to the sidewalk and suffered head injuries,” the release revealed. “Mr. Fife was left unconscious, lying on the sidewalk, while his assailant fled the scene on foot.”
Witnesses called authorities and Fife was transported to a local hospital for treatment.
Later that same night, the teenage girl phoned police to report a sexual assault. However, when authorities reviewed surveillance footage from the bus, it was apparent that no sexual assault occurred.
Just four days later, Fife died of his injuries.
“This case is still under investigation,” the release added. “Due to the fact that other individuals involved are juveniles, their names will not be release [sic] at this time. We will also not release any further details of the case until consulting with the Cache County Attorney’s Office.”
Fife’s only son, Michael Fife Jr., told the outlet that he couldn’t understand why someone would treat his father in such a way over a mere allegation.
“I don’t even know why he was being hit,” he said. “Something definitely needs to be done because this stuff can’t happen. I mean, especially over an allegation.”
“He cared a lot about people,” he added. “He always greeted them with a smile and he was always a kind person to them.”
A GoFundMe page was set up to help defray the costs of Fife’s funeral. At the time of this writing, the page has brought in over $2,000.