SALT LAKE CITY — A man who authorities say stole a woman's car and led police on a chase that closed portions of I-80 Wednesday was charged Friday.
David James Montoya, 19, was charged in 3rd District Court with aggravated robbery, a first-degree felony; two counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony; and failure to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony.
About 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, a woman was driving to her West Valley home when she noticed a Dodge Intrepid following her. As she pulled into her driveway, a Hispanic man, later identified by police as Montoya, stepped out of the Intrepid and began to talk to her as he went through a free box of clothes in the driveway, according to the charges.
The woman said she noticed Montoya had face tattoos and was wearing red clothing and a white glove, according to court documents.
Montoya approached her with his hand tucked beneath his clothes and said, "I'm robbing you, and I have a gun under my shirt," the charges state. He took her car keys and her phone and said, "If you say anything, I'll kill you in front of your daughter," according to charges. The woman's 10-year-old niece was playing in the yard at the time.
Montoya then drove off in the woman's Chevy Impala, leaving behind the Intrepid, which was later found to be stolen, according to police.
At 5:43 p.m., a Salt Lake police detective was driving in the area of 500 S. Emery St. (1150 West) when he saw a Chevy Impala speeding and driving recklessly through the neighborhood. He called for backup and followed the vehicle, which fled when the officer activated his emergency lights.
A Salt Lake police officer followed the Impala as it entered I-80 west from 500 South. The officer saw one of the vehicle's front tires shred into pieces while approaching the freeway, weaving in and out of traffic.
Officers successfully performed a PIT maneuver to stop the vehicle, hitting its back bumper and causing it to spin out near 1500 West. Officers identified the driver as Montoya and placed him in custody.
Montoya asked to go to the hospital and was taken to University Hospital. A West Valley police officer who accompanied him said Montoya stated post-Miranda that he "hopped" into the Intrepid to "joyride" it, and that "if the keys are in it, you just take it," charges state.
Montoya also claimed membership to a Hispanic gang. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail the next day on $150,000 bail.
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