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Motorcyclist dumps son, flees from police, investigators say

Published: Wednesday, Aug. 22 2012 12:46 p.m. MDT

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS — Police were looking Wednesday for a man who they say tossed his son off a stationary motorcycle and told him to run before fleeing from officers himself.

About 8:45 p.m. Tuesday, a motorcycle patrol officer witnessed another motorcycle speeding near 6400 South and 1300 East, said Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Gary Young.

The motorcycle rider, Brian E. Johnson, 42, appeared as though he was about to pull over, but then took off again, Young said. Johnson continued to look over his shoulder as the officer pursued him.

When Johnson finally pulled over, he unloaded the bags he and his 13-year-old son had gathered after shopping, and then allegedly pushed his son off.

"He reached over his shoulder, grabs the boy and shoves him off," Young said.

Johnson told his son to run, but he fell on his face as soon as he was tossed off the motorcycle, Young said.

The officer, who had caught up to Johnson, pulled his motorcycle in front of his. Johnson then "punched" his bike, quickly taking off and shoving his bike into the side of the officer's motorcycle in an apparent attempt to knock it over, according to Young.

Johnson sped away but the officer did not pursue. Because the man's son was still at the curb, police were able to quickly identify the man on the motorcycle. They went to two houses where he possibly lived. At a house in Murray, detectives found the motorcycle under a blanket in the backyard, Young said. Johnson was not at home.

Young said his department planned to seek an arrest warrant for Johnson for possible charges of of child abuse, aggravated assault on a police officer, fleeing, driving on a revoked license and driving without a court-ordered ignition interlock device. He already has a $50,000 warrant out for prior crimes, Young said.

E-mail: preavy@desnews.com Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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