Truck theft suspect says he tried to trick officer into shooting him
Ogden • Police fired after seeing glint of metal and shooter’s stance, but missed.
Published: August 1, 2012 02:36PM
Updated: August 1, 2012 11:40PM

A suspected automobile thief was intent on committing suicide-by-cop when he decided to end a foot chase by pointing a can of soda at a surprised Ogden police officer, court documents state.

It almost worked. The officer apparently saw the glint of metal, pulled his handgun and fired several times at the 46-year-old Ogden man — but missed.

The suspect’s claim was detailed in a probable cause statement concerning the man’s July 24 arrest and subsequent charges.

Ogden police have not released the name of the officer who shot at the suspect. The officer remained on administrative leave Wednesday while the incident is investigated by the Ogden Police Department and the Weber County Attorney’s Office.

The chase had begun when the man was spotted driving a stolen pickup. When officers attempted to pull him over, he allegedly slammed on his brakes with the intention of ramming the squad car with the truck’s trailer hitch; the resulting collision caused $5,000 in damage to the police vehicle, and the suspect fled the scene on foot.

It was during that foot chase that the suspect allegedly decided to dart out from behind some trees and confront the officer, soda can held menacingly in his hand.

“After the collision, [he] abandoned his vehicle and hid in a field near the train tracks on West 17th. He was shortly thereafter confronted by police. [He] said he wanted to die, so he emerged from his hiding sport and pointed a can of soda at one of the officers,” Ogden police Detective Tyler Ziegler wrote in the probable cause affidavit filed in 2nd District Court. “He wanted the officer to believe the can was a weapon so the officer would shoot him.”

After the bullets missed their target, three officers sustained minor injuries in the subsequent struggle to subdue the suspect.

Court documents show the suspect was charged with one second-degree felony count of auto theft; two third-degree felony counts of aggravated assault; and one second-degree felony count criminal mischief involving the damage to the police car.

remims@sltrib.com