Update: Police ID suspect accused of hitting West Valley City police officer

Anthony James Pearson. Photo Courtesy: Salt Lake County Jail

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, Oct. 22, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — Police have identified a man arrested after allegedly running over a West Valley City Police officer, dragging him under a pickup truck, and ramming two police cars.

“The suspect in the incident where an officer was dragged by a vehicle, Anthony James Pearson, 26, was booked on multiple charges including aggravated assault on an officer, fleeing and possession of drugs and a stolen vehicle,” said a tweet from West Valley City Police Department Thursday evening.

The exact charges Pearson is facing are:

  • Aggravated assault targeting law enforcement, a first-degree felony
  • Criminal mischief, a second-degree felony
  • Receive or transfer stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony
  • Two counts of failure to stop or respond at command of police, a third-degree felony
  • Failure to stop at the command of a law enforcement officer, a class A misdemeanor
  • Use or possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor

Just after 3 a.m. on Thursday, officers were called to the parking lot of a church at 6710 W. 4145 South, West Valley City, police said, corroborated by the probable cause statement. Neighbors had reported a suspicious vehicle that had left its engine running for several hours.

When officers arrived, they saw a man in his late 20s to mid-30s who appeared to be sleeping while sitting upright behind the wheel of the Dodge Ram pickup truck.

Officers approached the truck and confirmed the man was sound asleep with what looked to be drug paraphernalia in the seat next to him, said Sgt. Robert Brinton, WVCPD.

The statement added that officials were also able to identify a handgun holster and magazine in close proximity to the driver.

Police opened the driver’s door and found he was “verbally non-compliant.” Briton said that was when the suspect threw the truck into gear, knocking one of the patrol officers to the asphalt and driving over him.

“The officer was stuck in-between the open door and the T-post of the vehicle and was drug for a short distance,” the probable cause statement said. “The officer was freed from the vehicle and thrown under the vehicle while it was in motion. The officer rolled out of the way of the vehicle and was able to avoid being run over by the vehicle.”

The officer sustained lacerations to his head, and injuries to his shoulder, hip and leg. He was treated at a hospital and has since been released.

“As the driver was fleeing the scene, he rammed two patrol vehicles,” the statement said. “One vehicle was struck on his front passenger’s side front bumper/fender area and sustained a flat tire. The other patrol vehicle was struck head-on and pushed through the parking lot, across the street, and up on a resident’s front lawn area, damage exceeds $5,000.”

Police determined the pickup truck, a gray 2010 Dodge Ram, was stolen.

Several hours later, at about 8:20 a.m., a resident in the area of 6200 W. King Valley Road reported an abandoned vehicle matching the description of the Dodge Ram.

“Later on this morning, one of our patrol officers spotted the vehicle, got into a pursuit with it,” Lt. Robert Hamilton, WVCPD deputy chief, told reporters later.

“The vehicle was abandoned in a field and the suspect fled on foot. He was able to make it to a family member’s house, here in this neighborhood, and barricaded inside.”

After barricading himself in the residence for approximately a hour, the probable cause statement said, the suspect exited the house and was arrested.

A family member, possibly the suspect’s mother, was detained, Hamilton said.

The truck was later to be found stolen out of Midvale.

Pearson was transported to Salt Lake County Jail, where he is being held without bail.


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