PLEASANT GROVE A Pleasant Grove police officer on the lookout for a group of vandals came in closer contact with assailants than he was expecting Saturday morning when his vehicle came under fire.
Just after 12:30 a.m., Sgt. Mike Roberts was driving his unmarked Ford Explorer in the Strawberry Point area of the city. He, along with the rest of the department, was keeping an eye out for a group of vandals who have shot out approximately 150 car windows over the past month.
As Roberts drove down a residential street, another vehicle with three men inside approached him. As the second vehicle slowly drove by, Roberts suddenly saw a gun sticking out the window and pointed at him, said Pleasant Grove Police Capt. Cody Cullimore.
"He thought it was a real weapon," Cullimore said.
Before Roberts had time to react, the person in the other vehicle fired a pellet gun at the police car, hitting the driver's side door just below the window.
Roberts turned his car around and began pursuit. The chase lasted for about two miles with speeds reaching 90 miles per hour, Cullimore said. The suspect vehicle was found abandoned in a farm area near 3300 North and 900 West in Pleasant Grove.
Inside the car, officers found the pellet gun. They also found some personal information the alleged shooters left behind, Cullimore said.
Police searched the area using K-9s and the Department of Public Safety helicopter.
Just after 1:30 a.m., a man believed to have been in the vehicle was arrested when he tried to go to a friend's house. Police were already staking out the house waiting for him, Cullimore said.
Andre Lock, 19, was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of felony fleeing, aggravated assault, discharging a firearm in a moving vehicle and criminal mischief.
A 17-year-old female was arrested about 9 a.m. when she finally returned home. After interviewing the teen, Cullimore said investigators determined the vehicle involved in the chase belonged to her, but she was not with the three alleged shooters Saturday.
The girl was very forthcoming with information, Cullimore said, and was released after she was questioned.
The search continued Saturday for two other men believed to be in the vehicle. Cullimore said investigators knew who they were looking for; it was just a matter of catching up with them.
Over the past month, more than $40,000 in damage has been done by a group shooting at cars with pellet guns in the Pleasant Grove area. Most of those vehicles had their windows shot out, Cullimore said.
Detectives were still trying to determine Saturday if Lock could be connected to the recent shooting spree.Comment on this story
Most of the cars shot during that time were parked vehicles. Saturday's incident was more unusual because it involved a moving vehicle, he said.
Cullimore said he did not believe the suspects knew they were firing at a police officer.