Car chase, crash leads to arrest of wanted man

Published: Monday, May 14 2012 7:05 p.m. MDT

South Salt Lake Police and Utah Highway Patrol troopers respond Monday, May 14, 2012 to a car chase involving police and ended in a crash at 3300 south and 700 east.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

SOUTH SALT LAKE — A driver in a stolen vehicle led police on a chase Monday and was eventually arrested after crashing and fleeing the scene on foot.

South Salt Lake police spokesman Gary Keller said the chase began just after 3 p.m. when an officer observed an early-model Chevelle narrowly miss hitting a car while turning left onto State Street at 3200 South. The officer followed the Chevelle into a parking lot and blocked it in with his vehicle.

The driver immediately put his vehicle into reverse, hitting the officer's car and another parked car before spinning around in a "stuntman J-turn" and leaving the parking lot, Keller said. "It's a wonder he didn't hit five other cars."

The driver then traveled east, passing through another parking lot and nearly running over another police officer, Keller said. A third officer began following the vehicle but the chase was called off when the Chevelle entered oncoming traffic in an apparent attempt to avoid construction on 700 East.

From the spot where he stopped his pursuit, the third officer was able to witness the Chevelle get into a massive collision, according to Keller. Another car was turning left at an intersection and collided with the side of the Chevelle.

"He's looking at a shopping list of criminal charges," he said. "The hazard this guy created just driving through the street was incredible."

Keller said the driver attempted to flee on foot and was apprehended near 800 East and 3300 South. Passengers involved in the traffic accident received minor injuries. The driver reportedly suffered an injury to his leg. According to police, the Chevelle he was driving was reported stolen out of Naples in Uintah County.

Keller described the chase as a "melee" and said the man, who was wanted on outstanding felony warrants, was apprehended with firearms and other suspicious property in his vehicle.

"I don't know what he was up to, but it's good we got him off the street," Keller said.

E-mail: benwood@desnews.com

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