Update: Police ID suspect after altercation leading to crash involving SLCPD patrol car

Juan Zacarias. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, May 14, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City police have identified a suspect in a Sunday night altercation after which a responding officer’s car was struck by another vehicle, then crashed through a residential fence.

The accident happened when the officer’s car collided with another vehicle as both headed eastbound on 600 North and 1086 West at approximately 9:30 p.m., the Salt Lake City Police Department said in a news release Monday.

The incident began minutes earlier when an officer was patrolling the area of the Solara Apartments, at 720 N. 900 West, looking for a wanted felon.

“A vehicle pulled in behind him extremely close as he was slowing to look for the wanted person,” the news release said. “The officer inquired if the occupants needed something.”

Juan Zacarias, 25, approached the officer, inquiring as to why he was stopping in the middle of the road.

“Zacarias got very close to the officer and appeared aggressive,” the news release goes on. “The officer told him to step back. Zacarias refused after multiple requests. The officer then advised Zacarias that he was under arrest.”

Zacarias refused to be arrested, and a man and woman the officer described as “hostile” surrounded him. Several officers arrived and were able to handcuff Zacarias and defuse the situation. The officer received a minor injury during the arrest.

An officer who heard the call for help for the incident responded with lights and siren from his location nearby. The officer was traveling east on 600 North and approached a white Nissan Altima. As the officer began to pass on the left side of the vehicle, the Altima turned left, into the police car. This sent the police car into the front yard of a nearby residence.

Both drivers sustained minor injuries, the news release said. The police officer was  evaluated at the hospital for possible injuries from the deployment of the patrol car’s airbag.

 “Always pull to the right to yield to emergency vehicles,” the news release added.

Utah Highway Patrol is handling the investigation, according to protocol, because an SLCPD officer was involved in the accident.

Zacarias was transported to jail for disorderly conduct, resisting arrest and failure to comply.


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