A South Ogden police officer didn’t know it as he struggled to take a man into custody, but he may have been a second away from being shot.
Police say that when the man ignored the officer’s demand to stop and pedaled away on a bike, the officer chased him in the area of 37th Street and Orchard Avenue. When the officer caught up with the 39-year-old man and attempted to take him into custody, the man fought him, attempting repeatedly to reach inside his coat.
Despite suffering a laceration to his hand during the struggle, the officer was able to handcuff the man. A subsequent search turned up marijuana and drug paraphernalia — and from an inside coat pocket, a loaded .357-caliber revolver.
The officer and the man were treated at the scene for minor injuries. The man then was booked into Weber County Jail on suspicion of third-degree felony counts of evading an officer and possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a class A misdemeanor count of assaulting a police officer, and class B misdemeanor drug possession-related counts.
South Ogden police spokeswoman Marci Edwards said the incident began about 11 p.m. Monday when the officer spotted the man riding his bike without lights, dressed all in black and wearing a backpack as he rode through an area hard-hit by vehicle burglaries in recent weeks.
“The officer activated his [cruiser] lights, and the suspect attempted to evade him,” Edwards said.
When the officer caught up with the man and his bike a short distance later and approached, the man resisted. At one point, the officer attempted, unsuccessfully, to use his Taser. A physical altercation then erupted.
The man remained behind bars Thursday in lieu of more than $13,000 bail.