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MILLCREEK — A man accused of ramming two police cars in an attempt to escape was charged Wednesday with numerous felonies.
Harley Gregory Welsh, 39, of Salt Lake City, is charged in 3rd District Court with two counts of theft, and two counts of assault against a police officer, all second-degree felonies. He is also charged with two counts of failing to respond to an officer's signal to stop, a third-degree felony; and failing to stop at the command of a law enforcer, a class A misdemeanor.
On Dec. 12, a police officer spotted a stolen car near 4932 S. Howick St. (210 West) with Welsh asleep in the driver's seat, according to charging documents. While he was asleep, the officer set up a spike strip under Welsh's rear tires and parked his patrol car in front of Welsh's vehicle, the charges state. He also called for backup and had a second officer park behind Welsh to try and pin him in, according to police.
The officers then used an air horn to wake up Welsh.
"Welsh woke up and immediately placed the Malibu in reverse, dynamited the gas hitting the patrol car behind him, running over the spikes," the charges state.
He then put his car in drive and hit the patrol car in front of him, "hard enough to clear a path and drove away at a high rate of speed," according to the charges.
The stolen vehicle was found abandoned near 32 E. Central Ave. (4100 South). Investigators believe Welsh ran to nearby Cottonwood Auto, 50 E. Central Ave. after dumping the car, then jumped into a Ford Expedition that was running but not occupied.
On Dec. 15, Unified police spotted Welsh and the stolen Expedition in a parking garage. He was standing outside the vehicle and an officer ordered him to put his hands up, the charges state.
"Welsh smiled, placed his hands in the air, and entered the Expedition," according to the charges.
Welsh allegedly attempted to drive away again, but could not get past the officer's vehicle. He then got out of the Expedition and ran off, the charges state.
Two days later, on Sunday, police say Welsh attempted to flee from police yet again in a low-speed pursuit. At the end of the chase, Welsh again got out and ran, but was captured this time by a police K-9.
Welsh has a lengthy criminal history, according to court records.