SALT LAKE CITY — A Lehi man accused of purposely driving on a sidewalk in American Fork over the weekend, nearly hitting several pedestrians, is facing attempted murder charges.
Shane Andrew Johnson, 55, was charged Wednesday in 4th District Court with two counts of attempted murder, a second-degree felony; two counts of aggravated assault and failing to stop at an officer’s command, both third-degree felonies.
On Saturday, American Fork police responded to multiple calls of a Jeep Grand Cherokee “driving erratically almost hitting multiple vehicles and multiple pedestrians,” according to charging documents.
Police say that a store on Main Street was having a sidewalk sale, and Johnson “drove down the sidewalk, hitting tables and causing shoppers to dive out of the way to keep from getting struck by the suspect’s vehicle. One woman had to pull two girls out of the way, as the suspect’s vehicle hit a table the girls were looking at merchandise on,” the charges state.
When officers spotted the vehicle in the area of 700 N. North County Boulevard, the driver ran a red light and almost caused a collision, and then swerved back and forth into on-coming traffic, the charges state.
“This caused four to six civilian vehicles to take evasive actions to avoid being involved in a head-on collision. None of these vehicles were struck,” according to the charges.
As Johnson continued to flee, he “drove through an intersection and directly into the grassy area of a park, where a pedestrian was walking on the sidewalk and was narrowly missed,” and then nearly hit another vehicle head-on near 1100 North and 800 East, the charges stated.
A police affidavit says Johnson also drove through a cemetery where a funeral was in progress as he was being pursued.
When Johnson turned into a parking lot, police performed a PIT maneuver on his vehicle, which caused a tire to blow out, the charges state. He drove a little further before stopping and being arrested.
After he was arrested, Johnson “admitted to hitting the tables in front of the businesses on Main Street, admitted he ‘knew what (he) was doing’ and that he was a ‘professional driver.’ Johnson also admitted to being involved in a motorcycle pursuit last night with another agency in Utah County and stated the pursuit was ‘fun,’” according to the affidavit.
Police noted that Johnson “has a lengthy criminal history” and “also has past issues with mental health,” the affidavit said.
Charging documents state that Johnson’s “mental health evaluation papers” were found in his vehicle after he was stopped.
Prosecutors have requested he be held in the Utah County Jail without bail.