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Stolen vehicle leads police on wild chase

West Valley City Police had to spike the tires of a stolen truck twice before apprehending the suspect inside. (PHOTO: KSL Newsradio's John Wojcik)

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — The driver of a stolen vehicle in West Valley City refused to give up Wednesday morning.

Police say a man in his early 20s stole a pickup truck before leading officers on a chase that lasted over an hour.

Salt Lake City Police first responded around 6:45 a.m. to reports of a stolen vehicle around 500 North and Redwood Road.

At that time, West Valley City Police got word that the truck was heading their direction.

They also found out that the suspect was driving erratically and had already rammed into a police vehicle.

Police say he did the same thing near the intersection of 2400 South and 5600 West.

“He saw our officers, rammed one of them and took off down 5600 West,” said Lt. Bill Merritt with West Valley City Police.

Stolen vehicle changes course

Police say they quickly became concerned once the pickup started ducking into residential neighborhoods.

“We obviously were very concerned about kids that would be going to school,” said Lt. Merritt.

So they decided to call off the direct pursuit but continue following the suspect with unmarked vehicles.

“Every time this suspect took a new turn we were able to follow him,” he said.

Cops later rolled out a spike strip to slow the suspect down.

“Two of his tires were deflated, but he didn’t stop at that point,” he said.

Riding on rims

Officials say the suspect continued to drive for another ten to fifteen minutes before they tried their luck again.

“We spiked them a second a time,” said Lt. Merritt. “He was driving as best as he could, which wasn’t very good.”

Now riding on rims, the suspect pulled into a bank parking lot and hopped out of the truck.

“He jumped out and started running across the parking lot where he was snatched up by about six officers,” said Lt. Merritt.

A dramatic discovery

Just for the pursuit alone, police say he’ll be facing a slew of charges.

“He’s going to be obviously facing three and possibly four charges of aggravated assault on an officer. Fleeing in a vehicle [and] fleeing on foot.”

Not to mention a significant discovery that police made after the chase had finished.

“We did find a firearm inside the vehicle,” says Lt. Merritt.

Officers don’t know who owns the gun yet, which could change the charges faced by the suspect.