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MILLCREEK — A Millcreek man was arrested Wednesday after police say he fled from officers, crashed and injured three people, then ran off and spit on officers while being taken into custody.
Saul Vazquez, 27, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of failing to remain at the scene of an injury accident, tampering with evidence, three counts of failing to stop for law enforcement, reckless driving, reckless endangerment, assault on an officer and several other traffic-related offenses.
A Unified police officer spotted Vazquez’s vehicle near 900 East and 4600 South about 2 p.m. Wednesday and recognized it as belonging to a man who “continues to flee from officers at traffic stops in Millcreek,” according to a police affidavit.
As the officer followed Vazquez, “the vehicle was driving erratically, unable to maintain its lane of travel and recklessly passing other motorists,” the affidavit states.
The officer turned on his emergency lights but Vazquez continued driving on Highland Drive near 4500 South and did not pull over, according to police. He continued to drive recklessly, running a red light and weaving in and out of traffic, the affidavit states.
Officers attempted to spike Vazquez’s tires at 3900 South and Highland Drive.
“Saul avoided the spike strips and failed to yield to the red traffic signal at 3900 S. Highland Drive. I terminated my pursuing of the vehicle at 3900 S. 1500 East,” the officer wrote.
After the officer had stopped chasing Vazquez, “I observed the suspect vehicle fail to obey the red traffic signal at 3900 S. 1300 East and collide with a second vehicle, causing the suspect vehicle to collide with the light pole on the northwest corner,” the affidavit states.
Two female passengers suffered serious injuries to their abdomens, necks, and faces, police said. A woman in the other vehicle also sustained serious spine, neck and chest injuries. All three women were taken to a local hospital.
Police on Thursday said the injuries were not considered to be life-threatening and turned out to be mostly minor.
After the crash, Vazquez allegedly got out of his car and ran. Witnesses pointed out to police which way he went, and Vazquez was arrested in a residential area near 3770 South, according to the affidavit.
“While the arrested party was being interviewed at the Millcreek precinct, he attempted to swallow a white baggie with a white crystalline substance (that) presumptively tested positive for methamphetamine,” the affidavit states. “While officers attempted to retrieve the controlled substance, the arrested party spit on one of the officers.”