DAVIS COUNTY, Utah, June 9, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Officials used a Woods Cross man’s alleged YouTube videos in an investigation that led to him being arrested Friday for reckless endangerment, reckless driving and speeding, among other charges.
A probable cause statement from the 2nd District Court in Farmington said Matthew Paul Mitchell, 27, is facing charges of reckless endangerment, a class A misdemeanor; reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor; careless driving, a class C misdemeanor.
He also was charged with the following infractions: speeding, failure to stay in one lane, following another vehicle too close, improper passing on right of vehicle and HOV on and off-ramp violation.
The Utah Highway Patrol received a complaint by an individual through email concerning a reckless driver in the Davis County area May 9.
“The complainant reported that a YouTuber by the channel name of SpaztasticTV uploaded a dashcam footage of himself driving recklessly in Utah,” the statement said.
“Your affiant was given the above information and told to investigate.”
The arresting officer viewed videos including one dated and time stamped April 12, 2019 at 10:34 a.m. The video takes place in Davis County, on southbound I-15 near the Hill Field Road exit mile marker 331, and with four southbound lanes of travel. The posted speed is 70 mph for that location.
“The video is a dash camera of a dark colored SUV approaching a silver Chevrolet Impala in lane one (far left lane),” the statement said.
“The SUV follows the Impala at an unsafe distance of less than one second. The driver of the SUV makes commentary at the Impala by saying ‘If you accelerate one more f***ing time and speed up to the car in front of you I’m going to full throttle ram your a**.’ The SUV changes from lane one to lane two, gets next to the Impala, swerves from lane two to lane one directly at the Impala, and back to lane two.”
The SUV then rapidly increases its speed as it changes from lane two to lane four in one motion to get around multiple vehicles, the statement said. The SUV continues to accelerate at an even higher rate of speed as it changes from lane four to lane two as it passes vehicles on the right and left, and follows other vehicles less than two seconds as it rapidly changes lanes.
The SUV continues at a high rate of speed in lane two and the driver makes a last comment out loud of, “I win, bi***!” before the video stops. When the SUV first passed the Impala it passed 13 other vehicles in approximately 20 seconds that were spread out over a distance that appeared to be just over a mile.
Several other videos show the same vehicle in similar situation and commentary including passing other cars using the center median on the interstate, crossing the double white HOV lines and passing cars on the right, using the right turn only lane to go straight through an intersection. The YouTuber is also shown following several vehicles at freeway speeds at a distance of less than 10 feet and not signaling all of his movements.
Another video uploaded by the same YouTuber, SpaztasticTV, shows a dark blue Dodge Durango driving at a camera with a third person view, the statement said. The video also shows a male driver wearing glasses look directly into the camera that’s on the passenger side. In the video you can see the male driver hold the steering wheel which displays a Dodge Ram emblem. The arresting officer ran a records check on that vehicle’s registration plate.
The vehicle returned to a 2003 Dodge Durango, and showed it was registered to a Matthew Paul Mitchell, at an address in Woods Cross. A records check of the registered owner also returned valid to Matthew Paul Mitchell, 27, at the same address. The records check also displayed Mitchell’s Utah driver license picture. The driver license picture matched the male driver of the SUV, holding the steering wheel that contained the Dodge emblem, and who was giving the commentary on the video, the statement said.
In another video that was investigated, “Mitchell is seen doing a review of a portable dash camera device and refers to himself as Spaztastic,” the statement said. “And again the image matches the driver license picture of Mitchell.”
The Youtube channel SpaztasticTV has several videos allegedly posted by Mitchell depicting reckless driving and reckless endangering driving behavior as well as self commentary videos where he is talking openly about his reckless driving, the statement said. A total of 16 videos were reviewed in regards to reckless driving, and those videos have been downloaded and saved for the investigation, officials said. “The voice commentary from the dash camera and video commentary of Mitchell all sound the same and appear to be the same individual,” the statement concluded.
Mitchell was transported to the Davis County Jail with his bail set at $3,580.