AMERICAN FORK, Utah, Aug. 30, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — An American Fork man is being held in the Utah County jail after police say he fled a traffic stop Monday while driving naked, ejecting a naked female passenger and running over her foot before he sped off.
Joshua Thomas Bezzant, 27, was charged on suspicion of:
- Aggravated assault, a second-degree felony
- Failure to stop at command of police, a third-degree felony
- Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a second-degree felony
- Commercial obstruction, a class A misdemeanor
- Failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor
- Reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor
- Violation of a protective order, a class A misdemeanor
- Failure to remain at the scene of an accident, damage only, a class B misdemeanor
- Lewdness, a class B misdemeanor
- Possession of controlled substances, marijuana/spice, a class B misdemeanor
- Reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor
- Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
- Driving on suspended or revoked license, a class C misdemeanor
Sequence of events
American Fork police were alerted Monday to a male and female seen naked inside a vehicle. Officers responded to the area of 1184 E. 80 North, and attempted a traffic stop, Bezzant’s probable cause statement says.
“The vehicle took off,” the statement says. “When Joshua accelerated, he had a female inside of the front passenger side of the vehicle and the female fell out of the vehicle and her foot was then ran over when the vehicle took off.
“Joshua did not stop after he ran over her foot, and he continued to flee from police. Since the female fell out of the vehicle and was ran over by Joshua’s vehicle I am charging Joshua for the aggravated assault.”
Bezzant fled at close to 100 mph in a residential area where the speed limit is 30 mph, the statement says.
“Joshua also ran multiple red lights and nearly crashed into other vehicles.”
Officers pursued the vehicle with lights and sirens on, Bezzant’s probable cause statement says.
“The vehicle Joshua was driving crashed in the front lawn of the residence (in the 600 East block of Main Street). Joshua then jumped out of the vehicle and ran on foot towards State Street in American Fork. Since Joshua was running red lights and was driving at such a high rate of speed, he was endangering the public because there were multiple pedestrians walking on sidewalks and he almost hit several vehicles.”
Pursuing officers were flagged down by bystanders who reported they saw a male run into a local mechanic shop, the statement says. Officers went into the shop and located Joshua Bezzant.
“Joshua then stopped running and complied with the officers. All the employees at the shop ran outside and stopped running their business because Joshua ran inside of the shop. I am charging Joshua with commercial obstruction because all of the employees were scared so they ran outside forcing them to stop operating their business,” the arresting officer’s statement says.
Bezzant did not consent to a field sobriety test, but a warrant was obtained to draw his blood, the statement says. Results are pending.
“I believe he is impaired because he has been nodding off and keeps falling asleep,” the officer’s statement says. “Joshua can not stay awake long enough to complete a sentence. During the vehicle search officers also found multiple pills of methadone.
“Joshua told me he does use methadone every morning. He also told me he uses temazepam. During my interaction with Joshua he had very heavy slurred speech and could not stay awake.”
Illegal drugs and drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle, the statement says. Bezzant was found to be in violation of a protective order taken out by his female passenger.
The filing officer said Bezzant “has an extensive record for reckless driving, DUI, drug related charges and assault charges. Joshua also is driving on an alcohol restricted driver license. Joshua’s driver license is currently suspended.”
Bezzant was ordered held without bail.