Traffic stop leads to chase, crash in Cottonwood Heights; suspected car thief found hiding neck-deep in nearby canal

A suspected car thief is checked out by paramedics after being taken into custody in the aftermath of a Cottonwood Heights police chase Monday morning. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Steve Milner

COTTONWOOD HEIGHTS, Utah, Sept. 3, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — An attempted traffic stop on 1300 East in Cottonwood Heights took an unexpected turn Monday morning.

When it was over, a car was totaled, a tree was felled, and the suspected thief was on his way to jail after being fished from a nearby canal where he was hiding amidst reeds in neck-deep water.

According to Cottonwood Heights Police Sgt. Tom Daugherty, a patrol officer was running plates on a suspicious vehicle about 9:15 a.m. when the car sped off, heading north on 1300 East.

The officer gave chase with lights whirling and sirens blaring.

Daugherty said the suspect tried to turn left onto 6600 South when he lost control of the car and smashed into a tree in front of a nearby home.

A police chase in Cottonwood Heights came to an abrupt end Monday morning when the driver of the stolen vehicle crashed into a tree on 6600 South. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Steve Milner

The male driver bailed from the car and ran into the surrounding neighborhood. A short while later he was found hiding in the cattails of an irrigation canal.

When the suspect refused to come out of the water, officers went in after him. At least one officer tried to Taser the suspect, but was foiled by the heavy vegetation the man was hiding in.

After a brief struggle, officers managed to subdue the suspect and dragged him ashore. He was taken to the hospital to be checked for possible injuries before being booked into jail.

The suspect’s name has yet to be released.

Gephardt Daily will update the story as more information becomes available.

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