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Nephi resident arrested after allegedly trying to run over officer in Orem

Nephi resident arrested after allegedly trying to run over officer in Orem

(Utah County Sheriff's Office)

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OREM — A Nephi resident was arrested Friday after allegedly fleeing police and ultimately trying to run over an officer to get away.

The driver, whom a police affidavit listed as 27-year-old Samantha Bencomo, was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, as well as failure to stop at the command of law enforcement and leaving the scene of an accident.

According to a police report, the incident started at 1153 N. State St. in Orem when one of the owners of Leiva Motors saw a small pickup truck in the parking lot back up and hit a Jeep Wrangler that was for sale in the lot.

The owner tried to get the driver to stop, but Bencomo drove away. The owner got into his personal vehicle and pursued the driver, police said.

The lot owner told police he saw Bencomo run into a cinderblock wall at 400 W. 920 North, which caused damage and left paint from the truck, according to the report. Bencomo then pulled into a gas station at 1091 N. State Street and the lot owner followed.

The lot owner flagged down an officer who happened to pull into the gas station soon afterward, and told her about the hit-and-run involving the Jeep, according to the report. Bencomo started to leave the gas station, and the officer commanded Bencomo to stop, but Bencomo drove away, heading south on State Street.

A short time later, the police report says, another officer witnessed the pickup truck driving west on 800 North and stopped at 800 West. The Orem officer, who was driving east on 800 North at the time, turned on his lights and pulled in front of Bencomo's truck.

The report says Bencomo is "is clearly seen making a visible hand gesture to the Orem police officer in what appears to be an acknowledgment of his presence" on police dash cam footage.

Bencomo "then backs the truck up, stops, then accelerates at a high rate of speed," the report says. Bencomo then "swerves the truck toward" the officer. When he moved out the way, Bencomo turned the direction of the truck in the officer's direction "in a clear attempt to run him over," according to the report. The officer jumped to the side but was still struck by the front passenger side of the truck.

Bencomo crashed the truck at 980 W. 1600 North, and was apprehended, police said.

It's unclear if the report is related to the officer-involved shooting that took place in Orem Friday night.

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Graham Dudley reports on politics, breaking news and more for A native Texan, Graham's work has previously appeared in the Brownwood (Texas) Bulletin and The Oklahoma Daily.


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