Man arrested after high-speed pursuit in Juab County

File photo: Gephardt Daily

JUAB COUNTY, Utah, Nov. 4, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man has been arrested after a high-speed pursuit through Juab County on Wednesday.

A probable cause statement from the 4th District Court of Juab County said James Daniel Harper, 36, is facing charges of:

  • Two counts of failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop, a third-degree felony
  • Unauthorized control of a vehicle/extended time (joyriding), a third-degree felony
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a third-degree felony
  • Refusal of chemical test, prior convictions, a third-degree felony
  • Four counts of reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
  • Ignition interlock violation, a class C misdemeanor
  • Drive on a suspended or revoked license, a class C misdemeanor
  • Speeding, an infraction
  • Vehicle on divided highway not operating in right hand of roadway, an infraction

On Wednesday at approximately 8:03 a.m., a Utah Highway Patrol trooper observed a vehicle northbound on Interstate 15, near mile marker 217, traveling at approximately 112 miles per hour in an 80 mile per hour zone.

“As the vehicle was approaching I initiated my emergency lights to enter the lanes of travel to perform a traffic stop,” the arresting officer wrote. “The vehicle slowed his speed down to nearly 40 miles per hour and then sped up to nearly 120 miles per hour. I then initiated my emergency sirens and engaged in a vehicle pursuit.”

The suspect driver of the vehicle repeatedly left his own lane of travel and drove erratically from the number one lane to the number two lane, the statement said.

“As we approached the south Nephi exit the vehicle exited the interstate and began traveling northbound into Nephi at a high rate of speed,” the statement said. “Once the vehicle exited the freeway I terminated my pursuit and informed local units to be on the lookout for the vehicle.”

Units then set up at the freeway ramps to assist in stopping the vehicle, while unmarked police vehicles looked for the suspect in Nephi. The suspect vehicle was located at the Conoco gas station in Nephi.

“Once the vehicle was located, units attempted to box in the subject at a house which was under construction,” the statement said. “The vehicle then fled from the units and started heading towards the interstate where Nephi City and Juab County began pursuing the vehicle once again.”

The pursuit was initiated near the hospital in Nephi leaving city limits toward I-15 northbound. The subject attempted to enter the freeway and collided with a fence and other objects at the freeway entrance, causing damage to the front end of the vehicle and blowing out the front passenger side tire, the statement said.

The pursuit went on for several more miles, and then the vehicle crossed through the median and began to travel northbound in the southbound lanes of travel.

Harper nearly collided with multiple other vehicles. A Nephi City unit crossed through the median and collided with the rear end of the suspect vehicle “just before the subject could go head on into another vehicle,” the statement said.

Both vehicles were blocking the southbound lanes of travel, and officials shut the interstate down while the suspect was apprehended.

“The suspect exited the vehicle and attempted to run as Nephi City and Juab County officers were able to apprehend the suspect and take him into custody,” the statement said. “The subject was placed into the patrol car and while speaking with him I could see fresh needle marks on his arms, the suspect eyes were rolling in the back of his head and he had constricted pupils.”

The driver was asked when was the last time he had used, and he said it was the night before. Inside the subject’s coat the trooper located multiple needles and a glass container containing a brown substance, the statement says.

Harper was transported to Central Valley Medical Center for evaluation, and a warrant was applied to gather his blood. While at the hospital, the suspect stated that he had swallowed 2.5 grams of heroin. He refused to submit to a blood draw.

Inside of the suspect vehicle there were multiple power tools and other items. The State Bureau of Investigation will look into the origin of these items.

After being medically cleared, Harper was transported to Juab County Jail. He has multiple warrants for his arrest and numerous National Crime Information Center warrants. He is also known to carry firearms and has multiple charges of possession of firearms.


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