Lucas Troy Neilson

A violent fugitive who has been on the run from police since Wednesday, when investigators alleged he intentionally rammed an officer's vehicle before leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase, was arrested early Friday.

Lucas Troy Neilson, 28, already was wanted when investigators from the Salt Lake Metro Gang Unit went looking for him Wednesday night. A deputy spotted Neilson and got out of his car to talk to him. Just as the deputy stepped out, detectives said, Neilson drove directly at him, forcing him to jump back into his vehicle to safety just as Neilson rammed the door.

A high-speed chase ensued. Neilson lost the pursuing officers, but his car was found a short time later wrecked and abandoned near 3700 South and 700 East. A woman who was in the car with Neilson was found hiding in a nearby shed. She was not arrested at the time after claiming she did not know where Neilson was.

Neilson was charged late that day in 3rd District Court with aggravated assault on a peace officer and felony fleeing for his actions.

About 12:30 a.m. Friday, members of the gang unit developed information that Neilson was at his girlfriend's house. When they arrived at the apartment, near 1600 West and 3100 South, they found both Neilson and his girlfriend — the same girl who was in the car during Wednesday's chase — and arrested them without incident, said Salt Lake County Sheriff's Lt. Paul Jaroscak.

Tiara Sonya Bennett, 21, was arrested for investigation of harboring a fugitive and obstruction of justice, he said.

The charges against Neilson are the latest in a long criminal history that includes aggravated assault, drug possession and distribution, aggravated burglary and theft, according to court records.


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