Police from multiple agencies seek wanted, dangerous, possibly armed fugitive at large in Salt Lake City

Felix Stephan Benitez-Zarogoza is the subject of a police manhunt in the area near and northwest of Liberty Park in Salt Lake City. Photos: Salt Lake County; UDOT traffic camera

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Feb. 15, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Police from multiple agencies are looking for a wanted fugitive in the area northeast of Liberty Park, in Salt Lake City.

Felix Stephan Benitez-Zarogoza, 23, reportedly fled the scene after a police pursuit and crashing his vehicle into another. He dropped a gun as he fled, Sgt. Melody Gray, Unified Police Department, told reporters at the scene.

Benitez-Zarogoza was first spotted this afternoon by UPD officers in Millcreek, Gray said.

“They found a vehicle they had been told he was driving, and the vehicle at the time was unoccupied,” she said. “A detective was watching that vehicle when the suspect entered that vehicle.”

The detective knew the suspect had fled before, so attempted to pin him in at the site, near 3700 South and 700 East.

“He was able to get away, and another pursuit started,” Gray said. The chase went from Millcreek to Salt Lake City, and ended on 1300 South and 900 East when the suspect had a car accident.

Benitez-Zarogoza is wanted for aggravated assault parole violation, other instances of aggravated assault, and four counts of fleeing, Gray said.

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“He is wanted. He is known to be armed and dangerous,” she said. “We have located a handgun and a rifle in the vehicle. There is a possibility he is still armed. So we are asking the public and warning the public that if you do see him, please don’t approach him, and just call police.”

A 28-year-old female in the car was taken into custody on felony warrants, Gray said.

Benitez-Zarogoza’s previous convictions (and charges dismissed in plea deals) include the following:

  • Possession or use of a controlled substance, in a Nov. 10, 2016, incident, a class A misdemeanor. (Dismissed, use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; giving false personal identity to a peace officer, a class C misdemeanor)
  • Attempted aggravated assault, amended from a third-degree felony to a class A misdemeanor; Electronic communications harassment, a class A misdemeanor, in an Oct. 22, 2016, incident (Dismissed: Threat of violence, a class A misdemeanor; theft, a class B misdemeanor)
  • Violation of a protective order, a class A misdemeanor, based on a Dec. 20, 2015, incident
  • Assault, a class B misdemeanor; criminal mischief, a class B misdemeanor, in a May 23, 2015, incident (Dismissed: Two counts of domestic violence in the presence of a child, a class B misdemeanor)
Felix Stephan Benitez-Zarogoza. Photo: Salt Lake County

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