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Police nab suspect, shoot his dog in self-defense

Published February 28, 2013 7:02 pm

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Police arrested a man Thursday after they say he rammed one of them head-on in a parking lot — a confrontation that also got the man's dog killed.

Unified police responded to a call about an alleged assault in Taylorsville about 2:15 p.m., but on the way dispatchers told them the suspect had fled the scene in a pick-up truck that might be stolen. Officers got behind the suspect and, while following him, ran the truck's license plate and found that the owner had reported it stolen about three months ago, said Lt. Justin Hoyal.

The 48-year-old suspect eventually pulled into a parking stall at a Little Caesars at 5400 S. 3950 West. An officer in a marked vehicle pulled in behind him to keep him from leaving, but the suspect backed up and got free, Hoyal said. He then drove forward and rammed another officer's car head-on, then went in reverse to get onto 5400 South — where three more officers were waiting and boxed him in, Hoyal added.

But when police were taking the suspect out of the truck to put him in custody, a Rottweiler jumped out and charged at an officer, Hoyal said.

"The officer backed away, he tried kicking the dog away, but [in the end he] was forced to shoot him," Hoyal said. The dog died at the scene.

No one else was hurt in the incident, Hoyal said, though he said he'll be surprised if the rammed officer's vehicle isn't totaled.

Police intend to book the man under suspicion of several felony charges, including aggravated assault on a police officer, possession of a stolen vehicle and fleeing, Hoyal said.

mmcfall@sltrib.comTwitter: @mikeypanda