Man steals van in South Salt Lake with child still inside
Crime • 12-year-old boy stops van after thief crashes vehicle into parked car in S. Salt Lake.
Published: January 4, 2013 12:07PM
Updated: January 28, 2013 03:31PM

An intoxicated sandwich shop customer took a short-lived joy ride in an idling van with a 12-year-old boy in the back seat, according to police.

South Salt Lake police Officer Gary Keller said the 32-year-old man was inside a Subway restaurant at 3305 S. State St. at about 8 p.m. Thursday and was being very disruptive. About the same time that employees told the man to leave, a woman parked her van in front of the restaurant, leaving a 12-year-old boy and another woman inside the idling vehicle while she went into the eatery.

The intoxicated man left the Subway and got inside the van. The woman in the passenger seat got out to tell the driver about the intruder, and the man backed up and drove out of the parking lot, according to police.

He was speeding north on State Street when the sleeping boy in the back seat woke up and yelled at the man that he was going to call the cops, Keller said. About a block from the Subway, the man crashed into a parked car. He tried to escape the still-moving van, but his pants got caught in the vehicle, and he was dragged on the pavement for a few feet. The boy then jumped into the driver’s seat, stopped the van and got out unharmed.

After the van stopped, the man tried to stand up and run away, but he was captured by police. He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of driving under the influence with a child, a class A misdemeanor; driving a stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony; child endangerment, a third-degree felony; and class B misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and leaving the scene of an accident.

kbennion@sltrib.com

Twitter: @KimballBennion