Man in custody after swinging metal rod at officers during SWAT standoff in North Salt Lake, police say


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NORTH SALT LAKE — A man is in police custody after they say he swung a metal rod at officers during a SWAT situation that closed Legacy Parkway in Davis County on Wednesday.

About 11 a.m. Wednesday, police from Woods Cross began following the man, who was driving erratically in a pickup truck that had spray-painted windows, as well as a United States flag obscuring the back window and license plate, according to North Salt Lake Police Sgt. Mitch Gwilliam. They attempted to stop the truck, but the driver fled and Woods Cross police eventually stopped chasing him in Bountiful because of how erratically he was driving.

The truck continued driving erratically and got on southbound I-15, exiting on Center Street in North Salt Lake, Gwilliam said. Officers then saw the truck, still driving erratically, and attempted to stop the driver there, but the truck died and became inoperable on the Center Street overpass over Legacy Parkway, according to Gwilliam.

The driver of the truck, who was the only person in the vehicle, then got out of the truck and was being aggressive with officers, refusing to talk to them and not complying with their orders, Gwilliam said. The man also had a metal rod in his hand and was swinging it around aggressively, Gwilliam added.

The man began making "erratic, nonsensical statements," Gwilliam said, including asking officers around him if he should throw the rod and how far he could throw it.

At one point, the man threatened that he had a bomb, as well as a two-barrel shotgun, in his truck, according to Gwilliam. He also tried to light the truck on fire using lighter fluid or vehicle starter fluid.

SWAT officers used a combination of foam, gas and pepper spray rounds, as well as flash bangs, to try to get the man to surrender, Gwilliam said. The man jumped over a barrier on the overpass and ran down an embankment on the other side, where officers were able to take him into custody shortly before 1:30 p.m., Gwilliam added.

The man had minor injuries due to being hit with some of the rounds SWAT officers used, Gwilliam said. He was taken to a hospital. No officers were injured during the incident.

Gwilliam said that it is possible the man suffered a mental health issue during the incident, but that isn't clear.

According to KSL NewsRadio's Paul Nelson, Woods Cross police identified the man as Michael Looser. Police said Looser may be wanted for similar crimes in Salt Lake County earlier this week.

Investigators were searching the car with a bomb dog due to the threats the man made, Gwilliam said. There were no members of the public nearby during the standoff, he added. The man had been driving toward a school in the area, so officers wanted to wrap up the situation quickly so that no one at the school was endangered.

Legacy Parkway was closed between the I-215 junction and 500 South in Bountiful but reopened shortly after 1:30 p.m., according to the Utah Department of Transportation.

Contributing: Alexis Pineiro, KSL and Paul Nelson, KSL NewsRadio

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