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WVCPD nabs hit-and-run fugitive with a little help from their friends

Published January 7, 2014 9:32 am

Open-field tackle • Two citizens see suspect running, take him down and hold for police.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

West Valley City police got some help from citizens who carried out an open-field tackle to apprehend a fugitive who fled on foot after his pickup truck got stuck in the snow.

The incident began in the middle of the Monday night commute when an unmarked WVCPD car attempted to pull over the truck that was weaving in and out of traffic at 4:45 p.m. near 4700 South and 4600 West.

Instead of pulling over to the side of the busy arterial, however, the 38-year-old suspect stopped in the middle of traffic and got out of his truck, confronting the officer. The man then jumped back into his truck and sped off, sideswiping another car and then getting stuck in deep snow when he attempted to cross a parking strip.

The 6-foot, 290-pound suspect abandoned the vehicle and attempted to run from the scene, but two other drivers reportedly exited their vehicles, tackled the man and held him until the Taser-toting officer arrived a short time later.

"He got about a block before these two citizens help run him down," WVCPD Sgt. Jeff Conger said, acknowledging he had mixed feelings about the assist. "These situations can always be dangerous, but whenever help is given we're always appreciative."

The suspect remained in the Salt Lake County Jail on Tuesday in lieu of more than $5,000 bail. He was booked in suspicion of third-degree felony fleeing the scene of an accident and numerous misdemeanors ranging from possession of drug paraphernalia and speeding to failure to appear for an earlier, unrelated court date and reckless driving.

remims@sltrib.com

Twitter: @remims