TAYLORSVILLE — Law enforcement officials are looking for a Taylorsville man who they say rammed two police vehicles and then stole an SUV from a car lot in order to get away.
The incident began about 10 a.m. Tuesday when a police officer spotted a stolen car near 4932 S. Howick St. (210 West) with a man still in the driver's seat.
"He appeared to be asleep or passed out," Unified police detective Ken Hansen said.
The Chevy Malibu had been reported stolen out of the Holladay area Monday.
While the driver was asleep, the officer called for backup and two officers attempted to pin him in.
"He stayed asleep while they backed up and put their cars in the right place, and then the spike strips, thinking that would disable the car," Hansen said.
But when the driver woke up saw police, "he backed the car up, damaging the (police) car behind him, and then he slightly hit the (police) car in front of him when he exited," he said.
The two police vehicles suffered minor damage, Hansen said. The officers were not injured.2 comments on this story
The stolen vehicle was found abandoned near 32 E. Central Ave. (4100 South). Investigators believe the man ran to nearby Cottonwood Motors, 50 E. Central Ave., after dumping the car, then jumped into a Ford Excursion that was running but not occupied, Hansen said. The Excursion was being prepared to be hooked to a trailer, he said.
The man was last seen driving the Excursion at 11 a.m. north on Atherton Drive (4340 South).
After reviewing body camera video from the officers, detectives identified the man they were looking for as Harley Gregory Welsh, 39. Welsh has an extensive criminal record, according to court records, including charges of assault, theft and drug-related crimes.
Anyone with information about the man or the vehicle is asked to call police at 801-743-7000.