Dash cam video released after woman charged with attempted murder of Orem police officer

OREM, Utah, May 13, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Dash cam video has been released after an incident Friday night in which a woman allegedly tried to run over an Orem police officer, who then shot at the suspect vehicle.

The incident was reported by Orem Police as an officer-involved shooting that began with a hit-and-run accident on North State Street and led to a pursuit.

According to the charging documents, the suspect, Samantha Bencomo, 27, is facing charges of:

  • Attempted murder, a first-degree felony
  • Two counts of failure to stop at command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor
  • Two counts of failure to remain at the scene of an accident — damage only, a class B misdemeanor

Orem Police Chief Gary Giles said in a Wednesday press conference the incident occurred at approximately 6:20 p.m. Friday.

“A person waved over a police officer by a gas station at about 1090 N. State St.” Giles said. “They reported that a suspect in a green pickup truck had struck a vehicle in a nearby car lot and had left the scene of that accident.”

The suspect vehicle occupied by a driver, Bencomo, and a passenger was also in the parking lot of that gas station when the witness made contact with the officer. At that point, Bencomo backed up the pickup truck, started to leave, and the officer went over and gave verbal commands to stop, Giles said. Bencomo fled, heading south on State Street, he added.

The suspect vehicle then collided with a fence at 920 North, Giles said, then traveled westbound on 800 North.

A little later, a different Orem officer saw the suspect truck headed westbound on 800 North and the officer stopped at the intersection with 800 West. The suspect vehicle was westbound in the turn lane, preparing to go south.

“As the light turned green for the officer, the officer activated his emergency lights and positioned himself in front of the suspect vehicle in an attempt to stop that vehicle,” Giles said. “As the officer exited his vehicle, Bencomo put the truck in reverse and began backing away from the officer.” She also made hand motions as if calling the officer towards the vehicle.

The officer had his weapon drawn, but thought that the suspect was fleeing, Giles said, so went to put his gun back in his holster.

“The driver then accelerated and made what appears to be a deliberate attempt to turn sharply into the officer in an attempt to hit the officer,” Giles said. “The officer quickly brought his gun back up as he was trying to get out of the way of the vehicle and fired several shots at the driver as the truck drove.”

The officer jumped to the side, but the front passenger side of the truck still struck him. The officer was not seriously injured as a result of being hit by the truck.

“One of the shots apparently did hit the passenger in the chin and face area,” Giles said. The relationship between the passenger and the suspect is not clear at this time.

Bencomo then fled westbound on 800 North, colliding with another vehicle, and was arrested in the area of 1600 North and 1000 West. She is being held without bail.

Utah County will be investigating the incident as is protocol with officer-involved shootings, Giles said.

The police chief showed the dash cam video above to assembled reporters. The video of the full press conference is below.

Live stream of press conference on Officer Involved shooting

Posted by Orem Police Department on Wednesday, May 13, 2020

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here