SALT LAKE CITY – A man who police say killed three dogs when he fled officers and crashed a stolen vehicle through the fence of a west Salt Lake residence, has been charged with three counts of aggravated cruelty to an animal.
On Feb. 2, George Anthony Basta, 28, of Midvale, killed the dogs named Negro, Principa and Momo, who were in the yard at 1317 Stewart St., when he crashed into the yard, hitting a neighbor's garage, according to charges filed in Third District Court Tuesday.
The court documents state that a Utah Motor Vehichle Enforcement Division officer had located a 2006 Chevy Impala reported stolen and saw Basta enter the vehicle and start the ignition. Two assisting officers pulled their police vehicles behind and in front of the stolen Impala, and turned on their flashing lights.
Basta backed into one police vehicle, ramming it with enough force that the colliding ends of both vehicles went into the air, which threw the officer from the vehicle, police say. Basta then drove over a snowbank and onto the sidewalk, pinning the other police vehicle into a tree, narrowly missing another officer.
He sped down the sidewalk, fleeing the scene, but officers tracked the car via electronic monitoring and the reports of other officers until it crashed into the fenced yard.
Basta is also charged with three counts of aggravated assault, a third degree felony; theft, reckless driving and other charges. Aggravated cruelty to an animal is a class B misdemeanor.