Police: Man arrested after pursuit in Riverton following alleged domestic assault

Riverton Police Car. Photo: rivertonutah.gov

RIVERTON, Utah, Dec. 16, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — A man has been arrested after a pursuit in a stolen vehicle in Riverton that followed an alleged domestic assault.

A probable cause statement from the 3rd District Court of Salt Lake City said Alexander Verl Harward, 29, is facing charges of:

  • Aggravated assault, a third-degree felony
  • Two counts of vehicle parts without identification number, a second-degree felony
  • Unlawful detention of a minor, a third-degree felony
  • Fail to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony
  • Identity fraud, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a controlled substance, schedule I/II/analog, a class A misdemeanor
  • Three counts of threat of violence, a class B misdemeanor
  • Interruption/interference of a communication device, a class B misdemeanor

Riverton patrol officers responded to a report of domestic assault Monday, the statement said.

The victim was driving to her residence in Riverton and when she arrived in her cul-de-sac, the suspect began running down the street towards the victim’s vehicle, according to the probable cause statement.

“The victim stated she observed Alexander, so she turned her vehicle around to face him,” the statement said. “By this time, Alexander had made it to the victim’s vehicle. Alexander was frantic and yelling at the victim, so the victim rolled up her vehicle window, as she was scared. As the victim rolled up her window, Alexander stuck his arm in the window, unlocked her vehicle doors and opened the victim’s driver door.”

Harward began yelling at the victim and said, “start driving,” and the victim refused, the statement said.

“Alexander put his arm around the driver seat and started to strangle the victim by pulling her head and neck back very hard and aggressively,” the statement said. “Alexander continued to tell the victim to start driving. Alexander got into the vehicle and continued to strangle the victim and told her he was not f—ing around. Alexander would strangle the victim, then release his strangle hold, and then go back to strangling the victim. This occurred multiple times.”

Harward then told the victim to drive, but the victim told him she could not see and could not breathe because he was strangling her. The suspect allegedly told the victim “I don’t f—ing care,” the statement said.

The victim then asked the suspect where he wanted her to drive to; he said he wanted her to drive to his hotel, which was down the street. She refused and he allegedly began strangling her again.

“After realizing the victim was not going to drive, Alexander shoved the victim to the passenger side of the vehicle and told her to move over and she was not leaving,” the statement said. “Victim told Alexander she was not going with him. Alexander replied, ‘I’m not f—ing around, get in the passenger seat, you’re coming to my hotel.’

“Alexander told victim he would break her phone and continue to strangle her again if she didn’t go with him. At this time, victim was able to get out of the vehicle and began screaming for help. Victim ran into her residence and called the police.”

While speaking with detectives about this incident, the victim stated she was in and out of consciousness during the times the suspect was strangling her and she thought Harward was going to kill her.

Harward then stole victim’s vehicle and sped off from victim’s cul-de-sac.

“Later in the evening, Alexander reached out to the victim by phone and told the victim he would give her vehicle keys to her if she was to come and pick him up,” the statement said. “Victim told Alexander she had anxiety due to him strangling her.”

Over the next few hours, the suspect allegedly continued to send violent and threatening text messages and phone calls to the victim, the statement said.

Harward then┬ástole a vehicle from a VASA Fitness in Riverton. “Detectives located Alexander in the stolen vehicle and attempted a traffic stop to contact Alexander,” the statement said. “Alexander fled from Riverton detectives and began a vehicle pursuit with South Jordan Police. South Jordan Police ended their pursuit. The stolen vehicle Alexander took was stopped on the side of the road in a neighborhood in Sandy.”

Harward reached out to the victim again and continued to threaten her and told her about the pursuit and the vehicle being spiked. He also allegedly told the victim “she had made a mistake by involving police,” the statement said.

On Tuesday, detectives located Harward and took him into custody. He allegedly admitted to detectives he did have an altercation with the victim the day before and placed his hands around her neck, shoulders, and jawline area. He also allegedly admitted to taking the victim’s vehicle and leaving it in a neighborhood in Riverton.

He also allegedly admitted to the theft of the vehicle from outside VASA Fitness.

“Alexander admitted to going into a local business in Riverton, doing a speed ball in the bathroom, and then took someone else’s vehicle keys prior to leaving this business,” the statement said. “Alexander used the key fob to locate the vehicle which belonged to the keys he had taken. Alexander then stole the vehicle from the parking lot of this business.”

He also admitted to fleeing in the stolen vehicle and said he knew officers were behind him.

When Harward was taken into custody, he had heroin and drug paraphernalia on his person.

He was transported to Salt Lake County jail, where he is being held without bail.

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