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HEBER CITY — A Park City man accused of leading police on a 30-mile chase Thursday called dispatchers during the pursuit to tell them that deputies “needed to leave him alone.”
The man, 20, was driving east on U.S. Highway 40 near Strawberry Reservoir when a deputy tried to stop him for going 15 miles over the speed limit, according to Wasatch County Chief Deputy Sheriff Jared Rigby. The driver did not stop and the deputy told dispatchers he was pursuing a fleeing driver.
He'd had a bad morning and wasn't stopping for the cops. It was nothing more than that.
–Jared Rigby, chief deputy sheriff, Wasatch County
A short time later, a dispatcher notified the deputy that the driver had called in and said “that he was not going to stop and that I needed to leave him alone,” Rigby said, reading from the deputy's report.
The driver's father also called dispatchers during the chase. He told them his son had also called him and told him what was happening, Rigby said. The father said he told his son to stop, but he wouldn't listen.
Duchesne County sheriff's deputies and Utah Highway Patrol troopers set up tire spikes eight miles east of Fruitland to end the chase. The driver stopped his car just short of the spikes and was taken into custody.
The man's family told deputies he was having problems with his girlfriend shortly before the pursuit and was distraught. “He'd had a bad morning and wasn't stopping for the cops,” Rigby said. “It was nothing more than that.”
The man was booked into the Wasatch County Jail for investigation of failure to stop for police and speeding.