WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah (KUTV) — A wanted fugitive was taken into custody Wednesday night after publicly carjacking a vehicle and then crashing it while fleeing from authorities.
Utah police officers reported that this incident began shortly before 8:30 p.m. when members of the U.S. Marshals Service Violent Fugitive Task Force were chasing down a Salt Lake County man wanted in connection to a recent drive-by shooting as well as three sperate car crashes.
Officers said the suspect, identified as 35-year-old Samuel Rodriguez-Garcia, was located heading eastbound down Bangerter Highway in a red Range Rover in West Valley City with one other passenger.
U.S. Marshals deployed tire spikes which were proven unsuccessful when Garcia continued to flee.
According to police records, Garcia then tried to run down a first responder who was on scene attempting to deploy a second set of tire spikes.
A pursuit ensued, which ended once Garcia came to a red light at the 4100 South intersection, which was being blocked by other vehicles.
Both Garcia and the other passenger were witnessed fleeing their vehicle on foot and then running up to another vehicle stopped on the roadway and forcing the driver out before entering.
Police said that while U.S. Marshals were trying to pry Garcia from the driver's seat, he was able to put the vehicle into drive and accelerate, causing it to thrust forward and slam into a fence.
Officials were able to successfully detain Garcia after the crash and conducted a search of his vehicle, which revealed a black handgun.
Garcia was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on several felony charges relating to fleeing from law enforcement, possessing a weapon as a restricted person and carjacking.
Traffic officials said that eastbound Bangerter was closed at 4100 South for about two hours due to this incident.
No other details were released.