SALT LAKE CITY — Two men were arrested Sunday night and early Monday following two unrelated police chases in Salt Lake County.
One incident ended when the fleeing vehicle rolled onto its hood, and the other stopped when the fleeing driver was found hiding in a recycling bin.
In one incident, a police officer spotted a man with a felony arrest warrant leaving a hotel, 7200 S. 450 West, about 11:15 p.m. with his wife, said Unified Police Lt. Steve Shreeve.
The officer pulled the man over on I-15 near 7200 South. The man, however, initially lied to the officer about his identity, Shreeve said. A brief "altercation" ensued, prompting the officer to draw his weapon. The driver never got out of his vehicle and drove away when the officer drew his gun. The officer did not fire.
The ensuing chase was called off near I-215 and 3500 South for safety reasons, but the officer continued to follow from a distance, said Unified Police Lt. Justin Hoyal. As the officer was following, he noted the driver was driving erratically using all four lanes.
Several times, the man's wife tried to get out of the vehicle, but he prevented her from doing so, Hoyal said.
The chase resumed on I-15 and 600 North. It ended when the officer forced the man's vehicle to spin out and roll onto its hood.
Kelly Bender, 42, was arrested for investigation of felony fleeing, DUI and unlawful detention. His wife, who was celebrating her birthday that night, was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor neck injuries.
Bender has an extensive criminal history, according to Utah court records. He was most recently charged in October with felony theft and misdemeanor trespassing. In July, he was charged with felony forgery.
A couple of hours after that chase, about 1 a.m. Monday, a West Valley officer pulled over a vehicle for minor traffic violations near 3700 S. 4000 West. The officer also thought the vehicle matched the description of a stolen car, said West Valley Police Sgt. Mike Powell.
The driver drover off, gradually increasing his speed as the officer followed, Powell said. The driver went through several residential areas, eventually going through several wood fences near 3100 S. 4000 West, and drove on the wrong side of the road at times, according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
At 3055 S. 3559 West, the officer forced the man's vehicle to spin out and stop. The driver, however, got out of his car and ran.
A short time later, a police K-9 found Dan Wettstein, 31, hiding in a recycling bin. The man was bit by the dog as officers tried to get him out. He was treated at a local hospital and booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of several charges, including criminal mischief and failing to stop at the command of a police officer.
Investigators believed the 2013 vehicle Wettstein was driving was stolen from a local car dealership lot.
Wettstein also has a long criminal history, according to state court records. In 2009, he was sentenced to up to five years at the Utah State Prison on a felony theft conviction. In 2008 he was also sentenced to up to five years at the state prison for convictions on conspiracy and obstruction of justice. He was convicted of felony joyriding in 2007.
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