A wild chase with a man wanted for investigation of ramming a police patrol car in another pursuit earlier this week ended in a canal in a field full of sheep Friday.
Just after 7 a.m., Salt Lake police received a call from a citizen about a man breaking into cars near 300 North and 1000 West, said Salt Lake police detective Jeff Bedard.
Officers spotted the man's vehicle and chased him for a short time before calling it off for safety reasons, Bedard said. A short time later, another officer spotted the car and again chased it until the pursuit was called off a second time.
After the second chase, investigators learned the man may be wanted in connection with a chase with Salt Lake County Sheriff's deputies earlier in the week, in which a deputy's car was rammed, Bedard said.
When officers spotted the man's car a third time on I-80, they continued the pursuit. The man got off on Wright Brothers Drive, turned onto 800 North and eventually ended up on a dirt road. As the man approached the end of the street, he crashed through a fence and drove through a field full of sheep, Bedard said.
Avoiding the sheep as police chased the man, the fleeing vehicle came upon a canal. The man initially revved his engine, and it appeared as though he was going to try a "Dukes of Hazzard" stunt, Bedard said. When the man realized the canal was actually about 30 feet wide, he hit his brakes.
But by that time, it was already too late, and the car slid on the wet ground, tumbling into the canal and landing on its hood, Bedard said.
Police pulled the man out of the car and sent him to the hospital. His injuries were not life threatening. Detectives were still trying to figure out the man's identity Friday afternoon, as he gave them a false name, Bedard said.Investigators believe the man is also a suspect in numerous other crimes from several agencies in the valley. Bedard said the man has a reputation for getting involved with high-speed police chases.