TAYLORSVILLE — A man who police believe attacked two people at random, stole one of their vehicles and robbed a gas station was chased down and arrested by officers Friday.
George DeLeon, 26, of Salt Lake City, was taken into custody about noon. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of two counts of aggravated assault, two counts of aggravated robbery and having a stolen vehicle.
DeLeon's alleged series of crimes began about 12:20 a.m. Friday at an Exxon gas station, 4700 S. 3577 West. DeLeon threatened a female employee with a screwdriver and demanded her car keys, according to a Salt Lake County Jail booking report. DeLeon took her keys and went to her car, but "the vehicle was inoperable" and he ran off, the report states.
Investigators believe DeLeon next approached a vehicle parked in the Planet Fitness lot, 1836 W. 5400 South, at 4:30 a.m. A man was asleep in the driver's seat waiting for the business to open, said Unified Police Lt. Brian Lohrke.
DeLeon knocked on the window, then opened the driver's side door and stabbed the man in the hand and shoulder before driving off in his car, Lohrke said.
"The suspect was able to overpower the victim and took his vehicle," according to the booking report.
The victim suffered very minor injuries and was not transported to a hospital.
Then just after noon, a man matching the same description from the first attack approached a man walking his dog at a park near 5100 South and 2700 West. DeLeon stabbed the dog walker twice with a screwdriver, Lohrke said, and then ran off.
"He said he was struck twice in his left back," according to the report.
Lohrke said the man did not suffer serious injuries. After being stabbed, "the victim and his wife followed the suspect in their vehicle" and then "confronted the suspect and tried to keep him there until police arrived, but the suspect fled and started jumping over fences," the report stated.Comment on this story
Police were called and spotted DeLeon walking along 3200 West. Officers ran after him and were able to catch and arrest him at 4960 S. 3260 West, Lohrke said. Investigators found he was carrying two screwdrivers, the jail report states.
The vehicle from the first attack was recovered at a nearby convenience store.
A motive for the attacks or whether DeLeon was under the influence at the time was not immediately known.
Court records show DeLeon has a criminal history involving mainly drug-related offenses.