Pedestrian who ran onto I-15 faces multiple charges, including assault on an officer

File Photo: Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, Jan. 19, 2020 (Gephardt Daily) — A woman who ran into traffic on Interstate 15 in Draper, causing two accidents involving five vehicles, is facing multiple charges related to Saturday night’s incident.

Courtney Marie Earnhart, 23, was arrested and booked into Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of:

  • Assault on a peace officer or military service member in uniform, a class A misdemeanor
  • Assault/threat of violence knowing person is a peace officer, a class A misdemeanor
  • Public nuisance, a class B misdemeanor
  • Five count of reckless endangerment, class A misdemeanors
  • Interference with arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor

According to a probable cause statement filed in 3rd District Court in Salt Lake County, Utah Highway Patrol troopers were dispatched late Saturday night to a report of a pedestrian running in the middle of traffic on I-15.

A UHP official told Gephardt Daily shortly after the incident that the pedestrian, later identified as Courtney Earnhart, had crossed the southbound lanes and made it to the northbound side of the freeway.

When troopers arrived on scene, Earnhart was on the northbound side of I-15, slowly walking back into traffic.

The reporting officer wrote in the charging document that he chased Earnhart, then restrained her as she kept fighting and trying to bite him.

When Earnhart was finally placed in a vehicle, she slipped her handcuffs, and then bit one of the officers who attempted to restrain her again.

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As a result of Earnhart’s behavior on the freeway, two separate accidents occurred, the charging document states, one involving two vehicles and the other involving three. No one was injured in either crash.

Earnhart was booked into jail on a $10,430 bond.

Earnhart was arrested in a similar incident in November 2019. The charging document from that case says the police have had “extensive history” with Earnhart jumping in front of vehicles on dark roads.

UHP also reported Saturday night that while the trooper was first attempting to restrain Earnhart, a car stopped and the driver got out to assist the trooper, leaving a female passenger in the car.

“A driver from the two-car crash left his vehicle abandoned and ran to (the) vehicle that stopped to help,” UHP said.

In an apparent attempt to carjack the vehicle, the man got into the car before realizing it wasn’t empty. When he saw the female passenger, he jumped out of the vehicle and fled, leaving his own car behind at the crash scene.

UHP officials said they believe they know the identity of the man who fled the scene.

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