Pursuit ends in West Valley City with fugitive, passenger in custody

Police say a fugitive and known gang member was taken into custody Saturday, Jan. 13, 2018, after he fled on spiked tires and led officers on a pursuit that was terminated when he drove into oncoming traffic on the highway. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Jan. 14, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A wanted fugitive gave police a hard time Saturday night, including a wrong-way evasion into oncoming traffic, but he surrendered when he realized the K-9 unit had sniffed him out.

Sgt. Zach Van Emmerik, of the Salt Lake City Police Metro Gang Unit, said officers identified the fugitive in a black Chevy Tahoe and did a “dry spike,” so the vehicle’s tires were spiked as soon as the suspect started to flee.

Van Emmerik said West Valley City Police picked up the pursuit with marked cars until the suspect got on State Route 201, where he started jumping the median and driving into oncoming traffic.

At that point, the pursuit was terminated.

“A couple of unmarked cars were right in the area on northbound (Interstate) 215, that witnessed him coming down the embankment,” Van Emmerik said. “They were able to pull up as K-9 was pulling up at the same time.”

He said the detectives saw two people get out of the Chevy Tahoe and run eastbound through a parking lot.

The dog was brought out and got a track on the suspect.

“The driver — the primary suspect — stopped after he heard the dog barking, laid down and gave up,” Van Emmerik said.

Officers found the passenger a short distance away.

When police searched the vehicle, they found approximately 3 pounds of marijuana, Van Emmerik said.

The driver was wanted on several felony warrants, including “possession with intent.”

Van Emmerik said, “He’s also a parole fugitive and a known gang member.”

With the spiked tires, the driver began to lose control of the Tahoe on SR-201, went through weeds and dirt, came up and ended up on northbound I-215, Van Emmerik said.

“There was a little property damage,” he added. “A fence got kind of torn up. A tree was knocked over.”

He said police were working to find out the status of the Tahoe, because it didn’t belong to either the driver or the passenger, but it hadn’t been reported as stolen.

When asked how he felt about the outcome of the pursuit, Van Emmerik said, “It was good. Two in custody. No one hurt. That’s good enough for me.”


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