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Traffic stop turns into chase, Arizona couple arrested

Published October 24, 2012 1:07 pm

Stolen mini-van • Suspects allegedly living out of drug-laden vehicle.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

An Arizona couple were behind bars late Wednesday after having bolted from a Cottonwood Heights traffic stop in a stolen mini-van before being nabbed in Taylorsville.

Cottonwood Heights police Sgt. Mark Askerlund said an officer had pulled over the man and woman about 11:30 a.m. near Union Park Avenue and 1200 East for what appeared to be an expired license plate tab.

"The officer talked to the driver, but things weren't adding up. While the officer went back [to his cruiser] to check on the vehicle, the guy took off, in the process running over another officer's foot," Askerlund said.

The suspect sped onto Interstate 215 and headed westbound, exiting in Taylorsville where Unified Police Department officers deployed tire spikes to stop the vehicle near 5400 South and Redwood Road.

"That got them stopped. The male driver was taken into custody. The female passenger tried to run away from the scene but one of our officers chased her down," Askerlund said.

Not only did the license tag turn out to be counterfeit, but officers learned the mini-van had been reported stolen out of Las Vegas. Other forged documents and methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia were also found in the car.

The couple indicated they were from Arizona, but they appeared to have been living out of the car, Askerlund said. Both were booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of vehicle theft, drug possession and fleeing an officer charges.

The officer whose foot was run over did not suffer any broken bones, Askerlund said.

remims@sltrib.com