OGDEN, Utah, Jan. 19, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — Ogden City Police have arrested a suspect believed to have crashed into a vehicle as he fled police on Saturday night.
John Christopher Garcia, 37, was arrested Sunday and booked into the Weber County jail. He faces charges of:
- Possession of a controlled substances schedule l or ll, a second-degree felony
- Failure to stop or respond at the command of a law enforcement officer, a third-degree felony
- Obstruction of justice, alters/destroys/conceals/removes item, a third-degree felony
- Failure to respond at the scene of an accident involving injury, a class A misdemeanor
- Failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, a class A misdemeanor
- Use of possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor
- Reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor
- Interference with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor
- Operating a vehicle without or a licence or registration (suspended or revoked)
- Failure to signal, an infraction
- Failure to turn on headlights, an infraction
Lt. Ziegler, with the Ogden Police Department, told Gephardt Daily on Saturday that the incident began at about 6:30 p.m. Officers attempted to stop the suspect vehicle, and the driver fled as the officers approached. The police did not pursue.
As the suspect vehicle reached the area of 23rd Street and Jefferson Avenue, it crashed into a vehicle occupied by a man and a woman, both in their 30s, Ziegler told Gephardt Daily.
Ogden City police arrived at the crash scene within seconds of the crash, according to a probable cause statement filed by an officer of the OCPD.
The filing officer said he saw Garcia walking away from the scene.
“Upon seeing officers John began running northbound. Your affiant called out ‘Hey! Stop!’ and gave chase. John slipped on ice as he attempted to run into a nearby driveway. He stood up despite multiple orders to get on the ground. He then held onto the fence and refused to get onto the ground despite additional orders to do so. John had to be wrestled to the ground before he complied with orders to get onto the ground and placed his hands behind his back.”
A plastic baggie of methamphetamine was located on the grass strip just north of the stop sign on the northwest corner of the intersection “in the same location in which your affiant initially caught sight of John after the traffic,” the statement says.
“Based on the proximity to John in which the bag was found, the immediacy of when your affiant caught sight of John following the traffic accident, and the fact that the bag was found on the same path John took while running from the vehicle your affiant developed probable cause to believe that this bag had been in John’s possession. This was weighed at approximately 29.5 grams and flashed positive for amphetamines when NIKtested.”
That weight, a little more than half the weight of a golf ball, “is much more than what is common for methamphetamine users to possess for simple consumption,” the statement says. The weight is more indicative of an intent to distribute, a crime for which Garcia was previously convicted and is on probation, the statement says. A large number of small bills were also found on Garcia, it adds.
The passenger in the vehicle that was struck was disoriented and lethargic, and complained of head and neck pain, the statement says. He was transported to a local hospital.
Garcia is being held without bail.