West Valley City police: Man in custody after assaulting girlfriend, crashing stolen car into cop cruiser

A man is in custody Friday night, March 16, 2018, after police say he attempted to strangle his girlfriend, stole a vehicle, and crashed it into three other vehicles, one of which was a West Valley City police car. Photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLC Scanner

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WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah, March 16, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — A man was taken into custody Friday night after police say he attempted to strangle his girlfriend, stole a vehicle, and then crashed it into three other vehicles, one of which was a police car.

West Valley City Police Lt. Steve Burke said officers were dispatched at about 8:15 p.m. on a report of an armed domestic situation involving a live-in boyfriend and girlfriend.

“The initial indication was that he did have some sort of weapon, but we didn’t know what it was,” Burke said.

During the altercation between the suspect and his girlfriend, the suspect’s brother used a Taser to stop the assault on the girlfriend, Burke said.

“We were told the suspect was in the process of strangling the victim, and that’s why the Taser was used.”

A short time later, the man broke into a bedroom the girlfriend had locked herself into, stole a set of car keys out of her hand, and took the car.

Burke said the car belongs to a relative of either the suspect or the girlfriend, and the suspect took it without permission.

When officers arrived on scene, the suspect was in the car some distance down the street.

Burke said the man phoned his girlfriend, told her he could see where the officers were standing, and wanted to know “how many cops are there” and what they were doing.

When the girlfriend answered his questions, he commented that he could see the two officers and “he was gonna take ’em out,” Burke said.

An officer found the suspect on the move near 3100 South, just east of 2700 West, and a short, low-speed pursuit ensued.

Burke said the pursuit ended on the corner of 3500 South and 2700 West, where the suspect hit two vehicles and rammed a police car as he tried to get away.

In the collision, the officer driving the vehicle that got hit suffered a hand injury, and the suspect had a minor injury to his foot. The drivers of the other vehicles were not injured.

Police took the suspect into custody and then to a hospital, but they didn’t find a weapon and it wasn’t known if he actually had one. He apparently had made some suicidal comments, Burke said.

The suspect — whose name was not immediately available — is likely facing charges of domestic violence-aggravated assault, robbery, and fleeing, all of which are felonies. Burke said additional charges could be filed if he also assaulted his brother, and if it’s determined that he intentionally hit the officer in the police car.





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