A 34-year-old man was in jail Friday after taking a brief joyride in a Salt Lake City police cruiser.
Salt Lake City police Detective Dennis McGowan said an officer, responding to a 9:30 p.m. Thursday complaint about transients throwing bottles in front of the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Church, 150 S. 400 West, was attempting to question a group of suspicious men when he noticed his car being driven away.
McGowan said the officer had gotten out of his cruiser in a hurry, because three of the seven men — who were carrying open bottles of alcohol — attempted to leave when he turned on his overhead lights. Facing the two groups, believed to be transients, on a dark street alone, the officer was calling for backup on his radio when the thief slipped behind the wheel of his cruiser.
The man did not get far before he was pulled over by another officer when he stopped for a red light a few blocks away at North Temple and 300 West. The suspect, also believed to be a transient, was arrested without incident and booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of felony car theft.