MIDVALE — A man arrested after allegedly leading police on a car chase — at one point forcing children to jump out of the way to avoid being hit — told an officer, "What was I supposed to do, just stop?" according to a Salt Lake County Jail report.
Ceasar Alexander Garza, 24, of Midvale, was arrested Thursday for investigation of a number of charges, including reckless endangerment and not stopping at the command of a law enforcer.
Garza, who had outstanding warrants, was spotted in Taylorsville about 7:30 p.m. Thursday, according to the report, but fled from officers. He was in a stolen vehicle, the report stated.
Unified police detective Ken Hansen said Salt Lake police were also looking for the vehicle that matched the one Garza was driving for a pursuit in their jurisdiction earlier in the evening.
Unified police did not chase Garza at that time, but about 8:35 p.m., the vehicle was spotted again driving recklessly near 7250 S. 700 East, according to the report.
Police followed the vehicle while other officers got into position. When Garza fled after officers attempted to pull him over again, strip spikes were set up near 6900 South and 700 East, flattening three of Garza's tires, Hansen said.5 comments on this story
Garza continued driving until three of his wheels were down to the rims. He went into the Union Plaza Apartments, 7233 S. 700 East, drove over the grass and hit a power box, Hansen said.
In the process, "multiple young children were in his path and had to run, dive and leap to avoid being run over by the vehicle Ceasar was operating," the report states.
In 2014, Garza was convicted of felony burglary and aggravated assault in one case, according to court records, and attempted theft in another.