MILLCREEK — Police are searching for a man they say slammed into two police vehicles before fleeing in a stolen vehicle Tuesday morning.
The incident was captured on video by man at a nearby auto repair shop who pulled out his cellphone and started recording.
The chain of events began shortly before 10 a.m. when an officer spotted what he believed was a stolen vehicle near 4000 Howick St., Unified police detective Ken Hansen said. It was later determined the vehicle was listed as stolen from Holladay.
The officer also noticed someone in the vehicle, later identified as Harley Gregory Welsh, 39, either sleeping or passed out in the driver’s seat. The officer placed spike strips in front of and behind the vehicle before calling for backup, Hansen said.
Another squad car was then called out to help pin the vehicle in before the officer attempted to wake Welsh up, Hansen said.
That's where Bob McKeeth and his cellphone come in.
"We were looking out the window and there were a couple of police officers boxing in a dark gray Malibu," McKeeth said.
He could only watch from his shop in disbelief, and hit record on what happened next.
Hansen said Welsh refused to exit the car, and McKeeth's video shows his vehicle go into reverse, slamming into a squad car. Welsh then puts the his vehicle in drive and hits another police cruiser before speeding away.
"Wow! (He) got away, dude!" McKeeth can be heard saying in the video. "He's got flat tires."
The officers pursued the vehicle and located it, with its flat tires, near 38 E. Central Ave. in Murray. Hansen said Welsh left the vehicle on foot and ran eastbound to Cottonwood Motors, stole a black Ford Excursion that was already running, and sped off.
"One of our other mechanics actually saw him get in the car, thinking he was somebody who was working here. He just didn't know who it was," said Tim Rideout, owner of Cottonwood Motors.
"Next thing I know, I got a phone call from someone in the office saying, 'Your Excursion just got stolen!'" Rideout said.
The vehicle was last seen in the Taylorsville area, he said.
Anyone with information about Welsh's whereabouts or the vehicle is encouraged to call police at 801-743-7000.
Contributing: Andrew Adams