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Dash-cam documents 125 mph pursuit, threats to officers

By Andrew Adams | Posted - Jun. 17, 2014 at 10:38 p.m.

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*Editor's Note: This story contains edited vulgarities. Some readers may find its contents offensive.SALT LAKE CITY — A 19-year-old man threatened to track down and kill troopers, hurt their families and blow up the troopers’ police station following a high-speed pursuit and struggle at the side of I-15, according to Utah Highway Patrol dash- cam video exclusively obtained by KSL through a public records request.

A man identified as Andres Vasquez Franco could be heard exclaiming from the back of a UHP cruiser.

“I’ll (expletive) shoot your family, (expletive)!”

Over a roughly 30-minute span, the man can be heard in the dash-cam video spewing nearly four dozen threats — some directly to a nearby trooper, others yelled to whomever would listen.

“Is that a threat,” Franco retorted at one point. “ (expletive) yeah, (expletive). I’ll kill your (expletive).”

The video also records Franco describing how he would like to blow up a police station.

“What I’d love to (expletive) explode your (expletive) police and county station, dawg,” he said.

He appeared to expand on that thought a minute later in the recording.

“I’ma plant bombs up in that (expletive) as in Iraq and (expletive) watch the (expletive) county blow up,” he said.

We have officers that are ambushed quite often. We've got to be very vigilant and look out for each other and we appreciate the public support when they're looking out for us.

–Sgt. Todd Royce, UHP

Franco was charged with multiple felonies in the May 16 encounter and pursuit, including threat of terrorism — a second-degree felony. He also faces a felony charge of damaging a jail and misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, alcohol restricted driver, reckless driving, interference with an arresting officer, possession or use of a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and operating or being in actual physical control of a vehicle without an ignition interlock system.

According to the declaration of probable cause in Franco’s charging documents, his top speed during the pursuit was recorded at 125 miles per hour. Charging documents and the video showed Franco struggling with troopers as they attempted to handcuff him.

Charging documents also stated troopers noticed a “strong odor of alcohol” coming from Franco’s vehicle, that he admitted to consuming alcohol and that he did “poorly” on his field sobriety tests.

Franco could be heard twice on the recording telling the arresting troopers this was his fourth DUI.

“This is my fourth DUI,” he said on the video as the trooper’s cruiser appeared to draw closer to the Salt Lake County Jail. “That’s going to end me up in prison, (expletive). Why you think I’m so (expletive) pissed off, (expletive).”

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Before he was taken in by jail guards, Franco could be heard threatening troopers again.

“Just keep on lookin’ out (expletive) and that’s a threat, homie,” Franco stated. “Wait ‘til I get out of jail, dawg. Just wait ‘til I get out of jail.”

Salt Lake County District Attorney Sim Gill said threats like the ones Franco is accused of making have to be taken seriously, “especially when they’re talking about the facilities that are law enforcement facilities — we take that very seriously in this day and age,” Gill said. “That’s something you cannot overlook or treat very lightly.”

UHP Sgt. Todd Royce said in cases where troopers are threatened, suspects are immediately evaluated by the State Bureau of Investigations to determine how significant of risks they pose.

Troopers and their families can be temporarily moved or protected if warranted, Royce said.

“We have officers that are ambushed quite often,” Royce said. “We’ve got to be very vigilant and look out for each other and we appreciate the public support when they’re looking out for us.”

Franco posted bail following his arrest and is awaiting a scheduling conference Friday.


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Andrew Adams


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