SALT LAKE CITY — A police officer attempting to pull over a vehicle Wednesday night got a surprise when investigators say the driver rammed the officer instead, and fled.

About 6:40 p.m., a Salt Lake City police officer attempted to make a traffic stop near 700 South Jeremy Street (840 West). The driver appeared to be pulling over and the officer pulled up behind him. But the driver suddenly put the car in reverse and tried to ram the officer, said Salt Lake police detective Dennis McGowan.

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The officer was able to move out of the way in time. But the other driver then went forward and this time struck the officer's marked squad car, McGowan said. The driver then left the scene.

The officer's car was still operational and he chased the suspect, McGowan said. In a nearby residential neighborhood, the officer caught up with the suspect — who was only moving at 20 mph — and performed a PIT maneuver, bumping the suspect's rear panel to disable the fleeing vehicle.

Christopher Whitaker, 20, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of aggravated assault on a police officer and possession of a stolen vehicle.

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