AMERICAN FORK, Utah, Aug. 13, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Charging documents reveal more details about Danny Earl Sihalath, arrested Friday on six felony charges after an incident Tuesday that also sparked an Amber Alert, cancelled after the 5-year-old boy was found safe.
The Aug. 9 incident began when American Fork police were summoned by Walmart employees reporting a theft in progress.
“Loss prevention associates stated there was a male inside the store, concealing items in a backpack,” Sihalath’s probable cause statement says. “The male suspect was on the phone during this time, leading loss prevention to believe there was someone waiting outside for the suspect.”
Sihalath was later identified by his driver license and vehicle registration.
“When loss prevention associates attempted to stop Danny, Danny fought with them in an attempt to get away,” the police statement says. “During this time, they pulled the backpack containing merchandise from Danny and pulled off his shirt as Danny was fleeing. Danny fled on foot to the parking lot.
“Officers located Danny and gave him commands to stop and to walk over to them. Danny threw a water bottle in the direction of the officer and ran to his vehicle,” the statement says. “A female was in the driver seat of the vehicle, another male was in the back seat, along with the female’s 5-year-old son.”
The woman, post Miranda, “stated that when Danny got inside the vehicle, he told her to ‘go.’ The female stated she panicked and dropped the key to the vehicle, at which point the Danny told her to move over. The female stated she got out of the car and Danny moved into the driver seat.
“While Danny backed out of the parking stall, he hit the female with the vehicle and knocked her over.”
Sihalath then drove around officers commanding him to stop, the statement says, adding the woman jumped out of the way to avoid being struck a second time.
“Danny fled the scene, resulting in multiple pursuits with law enforcement. During the pursuits, Danny violated multiple traffic laws, drove erratically, and traveled at dangerous speeds. The pursuits were terminated by law enforcement due to the erratic driving and unsafe speeds.
The Amber Alert for the boy, whose age was originally give as 8, was cancelled hours later after police say the child was dropped off, safe, with family members.
At some point prior to pursuit termination, one or more shots were reportedly fired at Sihalath. Police arrested the suspect Friday after he went to a local hospital for treatment of a gunshot wound.
Sihalath was booked into the Utah County jail on suspicion of:
- Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
- Three counts of endangerment of a child or vulnerable adult, a third-degree felony
- Failure to stop or respond to command of police, a third-degree felony
- Retain theft, shoplifting, a third-degree felony
- Failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor
His bail was set at $10,000.
“A 5-year-old child and another male passenger who were inside of the vehicle during the incident were at risk of death or serious bodily injury because of Danny’s actions,” the police statement says.
The statement also notes that Sihalath has “an extensive criminal history, with 18 arrests since 2011, 14 of which resulted in convictions (give felony convictions).”
Gephardt Daily will have more on this story as the case develops.