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Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com

Police: Man arrested after driving through Salt Lake City park

By Jacob Klopfenstein, KSL.com | Posted - Jan. 9, 2020 at 7:11 p.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Police arrested a man early Thursday morning after he allegedly stole a doughnut at a 7-Eleven, attempted to hit some people while driving through Liberty Park, and then led officers on a chase.

The bizarre sequence of events started just after midnight at the 7-Eleven at 309 E. 400 South, according to Salt Lake Police Lt. Alma Sweeny.

A man went into the store, took some property and threatened the clerk, saying he had a gun, Sweeny said. The store clerk said the man walked in, took a doughnut and left.

The clerk went outside and had a brief altercation with the man, who then drove off, Sweeny said. The clerk was able to give police a description of the car, a blue Jeep Liberty.

Shortly after the man left the 7-Eleven, police got a call reporting a man in a vehicle matching the description of the Jeep the clerk described to police was threatening some people at the Smith’s Marketplace, 455 S. 500 East, according to Sweeny.

People at the store also reported the man had pointed a Taser at them and said he had a gun, Sweeny said.

Shortly after that incident, police got another call reporting a man was driving through Liberty Park and running into property. Several hours later, police got information indicating the man may have been trying to run over people at the park, Sweeny said.

An officer then encountered the Jeep nearby and recognized it as the one described by the 7-Eleven clerk. The officer pursued the car but it fled, according to Sweeny.

The pursuit eventually ended in Cottonwood Heights and the man was taken into custody without further incident, Sweeny said. He was later identified as Gary Dean Moore, 38.

Moore was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on suspicion of aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, theft by receiving stolen property and failing to stop for officers — all felony offenses — according to Salt Lake County jail records.

Police recovered some evidence thought to be connected to the 7-Eleven robbery in the Jeep, Sweeny said. They also recovered a Taser but did not find a gun. Police believe the Jeep was stolen, Sweeny added.

One man who was near the pavilion at Liberty Park had a minor leg injury after he was hit by a picnic table that Moore is said to have run into, according to Sweeny. That man asked to be transported to the hospital as a precaution.

Moore “made some statements” to police that indicated he had taken some drugs earlier in the evening, according to Sweeny. Further information about the incident was not available Thursday afternoon.

Contributing: Sean Moody and Felicia Martinez, KSL TV

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