Suspect in custody, ID’d after motorcycle-pedestrian accident left South Salt Lake victim critically injured

Photo: UPI

SOUTH SALT LAKE, Utah, Sept. 2, 2017 (Gephardt Daily) — A  suspect has been arrested in connection with a motorcycle-pedestrian hit-and-run accident on Tuesday that has left a 49-year-old man fighting for his life.

A news release from the South Salt Lake Police Department says that the suspect, 20-year-old Lutolofi Maama, ran after being spotted by police, and led officers on ” … an hour and a half game of cat-and-mouse.

“Officers would spot the suspect and the suspect would duck away or jump a fence. Finally, with the help of five K9s and a number of officers from surrounding agencies, the suspect was safely taken into custody for questioning.”

Maama is expected to face charges of:

  • Vehicle theft, a second-degree felony
  • Two counts of possession of a stolen vehicle, second-degree felonies
  • Failure to remain at the site of an accident with injury, a third-degree felony
  • Failure to respond to officers, a third-degree felony
  • Fail to stop at command of law enforcement, a Class A misdemeanor
  • Driving on a suspended licence, a Class C misdemeanor
  • No insurance, a Class C misdemeanor

Formal charges have not yet been filed, pending a review by the Salt Lake District Attorney’s Office, the SSLPD statement says.

Injured Tuesday night in the hit and run is Mark Edward Swindle, a South Salt Lake resident whose family asked that his name be released. Swindle is still battling life-threatening injuries as a result of the accident.

Swindle was struck by a bullet bike just before midnight Tuesday while walking north at the intersection of 3300 South and 900 West. The biker fled the scene, but  a passerby called for help, and Swindle was transported to a hospital in very critical condition. His status has not improved since then, according to SSLPD news releases.

The bullet bike was determined to be a match for one that had been stolen. It was located near 412 E. Warnock Ave. (2465 South), in South Salt Lake, after a tipster noticed it and called police.

When officers returned at 5:30 p.m. Friday to the location where the motorcycle was recovered, they noticed Maama, who matched the description of the rider, quickly leaving the scene.

Maama also had a fresh case of road rash, like police predicted the fallen biker would have, and a bruised face and bandaged hands.

Once Maama was finally in custody, he was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail at 1:41 a.m. Saturday morning.

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