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Riverton man accused of starting dangerous chase in Payson

(Credit: Utah County Jail)

PAYSON – A wild ride in Payson Canyon leads to possible kidnapping and assault charges for a Riverton man.  Officers say he had a woman in his car who was seemingly desperate to get out.

Investigators say it started when police were controlling traffic around a motorcycle crash in Payson Canyon last Sunday.  Only one lane was open, so, police had to stop traffic in alternating directions.  In one car, they spotted Nicholas Gene King, and something seemed off.

“They were starting to see some things that were a little unusual, and, about that time, he takes off,” according to Utah County Sheriff’s Sergeant Spencer Cannon.

Police were not able to chase King at first because he was reportedly driving dangerously fast, reaching up to 100 miles an hour.

Cannon says, “We had one deputy that had to get out of the way to avoid getting his feet run over.  We had a Payson officer, one of their sergeants, who had to jump out of the way to avoid getting hit.”

Officers were able to catch up with King as he went through the streets of Payson, and they noticed something strange.

“The front passenger-side door kept opening like somebody wanted to get out,” Cannon says.

Turns out, there was a woman in the passenger seat and Cannon says she jumped out of the car when it was moving at 40 miles an hour.

“She said she kept telling him, ‘Let me out.  Let me out.’  He would slow down as if he was going to let her get out, but, as soon as she would open the door and lean as if she was going to get out, he’d punch it again and started laughing at her,” he says.

This isn’t the first time King has been accused of this kind of crime.  Cannon says he sped away from police in 2017 with two passengers in his car, which he wouldn’t let out.

“He’s a scary character.  These two incidents are almost exactly the same within two years of each other,” Cannon says.

King was booked into the Utah County Jail on 18 new charges including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault, drug possession, possession of a stolen car and targeting of law enforcement.