A Utah Highway Patrol trooper was making what he thought would be a routine traffic stop early Thursday morning on a car with a faulty tail light. Then things got crazy.
What followed was a brief chase on northbound Interstate 15 with the suspect vehicle crashing into a concrete barrier while trying to take a Murray exit near 4500 South and 300 West. Then came the arrests of two males and a female, one of the males being nabbed after a foot pursuit through the pre-dawn darkness.
UHP Cpl. Todd Johnson said police also found that the car was stolen, as was a handgun believed to have been tossed by the suspects under the car. Drugs and gang paraphernalia also were seized.
One man and a woman, both 25, were taken into custody at gunpoint before they could run. A trooper eventually ran down the third suspect, believed to be the driver, about 150 yards from the crash site. The man, also 25, was found hiding in bushes near a restaurant.
No one was injured during the wild sequence of events.
The drama unfolded about 4:30 a.m. Thursday when the trooper activated his lights to pull over the suspect vehicle on the freeway at 5000 South. The car initially slowed and seemed to be pulling over onto the shoulder, then suddenly accelerated.
The trooper soon suspended his pursuit over safety concerns, only to find moments later that the car had crashed while apparently taking the exit too fast. He called for backup, and Salt Lake City police officers arrived moments later. The trooper then took off after the running driver.
The three suspects were expected booking into Salt Lake County Jail later Thursday on numerous charges.