Police: Man mistakenly thinks police are after him, leads them on chase

Published: Monday, Feb. 10 2014 3:50 p.m. MST

Derek Vigil was arrested after he allegedly led police on a chase in a stolen vehicle in Salt Lake City, Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, and crashing into two other cars and a power pole. Police say officers were originally looking for someone else when Vigil sped away, apparently believing they were looking for him.

Salt Lake police

SALT LAKE CITY — A man who apparently thought he was about to be stopped by police was arrested Monday after officers say he led them on a chase and crashed into two other vehicles.

All of this occurred after police said they were originally looking for someone else.

About 1:30 p.m., Derek Vigil, 23, was stopped at a red light at 900 S. State when a Salt Lake police officer, who was in the area looking for a robbery suspect in an unrelated incident, drove up behind him, said police spokesman Cody Lougy.

"And for whatever reason, Derek gets scared thinking the officer is coming for him," Lougy said. "Maybe this guy thought we were hunting for him, I don't know."

Vigil, who was in a stolen vehicle, ran the red light and hit the curb on the other side of the street while trying to get away, Lougy said. The officer's full attention was now on Vigil.

As Vigil tried to speed away, he nearly hit another patrol car in the area, Lougy said. The ensuing chase went onto I-80 and exited at Redwood Road. Near 900 West and 600 North, Vigil allegedly hit a pair of vehicles, bounced off and hit a power pole. The car came to rest on its side.

The driver still tried to escape by climbing out of the vehicle and running, but he was arrested a short time later. He was taken to a local hospital to be treated for minor injuries and was expected to be booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault on a police officer, fleeing and possession of a stolen vehicle.

The people in the other two vehicles that were hit suffered minor injuries, Lougy said. One was transported to a hospital for treatment.

In 2012, Vigil was convicted of failing to stop at the command of a police officer, according to Utah court records. In 2011, he was convicted of two counts of felony discharge of a firearm after firing several rounds from a handgun into the air during a fight.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

Get The Deseret News Everywhere