WOODS CROSS — A Woods Cross police officer accused of firing several rounds at a vehicle driving away from him now faces two felony criminal charges.
Joshua John Lindsey, 39, of Kaysville — who was fired from the department — was charged Tuesday in 2nd District Court with two counts of aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony.
On Feb. 7, in a car lot near 1650 W. 500 South in Woods Cross, Lindsey was "charging" toward a truck with two men inside that was trying to get away from him, according to charging documents. While doing so, he fired four shots, the charges state.
"Fortunately for all concerned, (Lindsey's) shots hit the vehicle and missed the victims inside," the charges say.
The officer said he felt like his life was in danger, according to a police affidavit.
The two men in the truck, Julian Nordahl, 26, and Tucker Riggs, 28, were arrested. But according to state court records, only Nordahl was charged. He was charged with two counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony. On Aug. 17, Nordahl pleaded guilty to one amended count of attempted theft by deception, a third-degree felony. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 5.
According to Nordahl's charging documents, a Wood Cross officer spotted Nordahl's truck in a car lot and "attempted to stop the truck because it appeared suspicious." Court documents do not indicate what Nordahl was doing that made his vehicle appear suspicious. A police booking affidavit further states that during Lindsey's interaction with Nordahl, he "felt that his life was in imminent danger and fired shots at the vehicle before the vehicle fled from officers."
Nordahl sped away and was later located by a second officer who attempted to stop the vehicle, the charges state.
"(Nordahl) ignored audible and visual commands to stop and attempted (to) elude police from Woods Cross to West Valley City," according to charging documents.
The chase ended when police say Nordahl attempted to drive through a chain-link fence to escape, but his truck became stuck. After his arrest, investigators learned that the truck was stolen, the charges state. A gun that belonged to the truck's owner was also found in the vehicle.
Both Nordahl and Riggs were originally booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of attempted murder of a police officer.
An internal investigation found Lindsey's use of deadly force did not meet with department policy, which restricts officers from shooting at moving vehicles, and he was fired in July, said Woods Cross Police Chief Chad Soffe. He had been with the department for just over a year. Soffe said his office intended to release more information about the investigation into the officer's use of force, including body camera video, in the coming days.
The Davis County Attorney's Office declined to comment on the charge Tuesday.
Utah Fraternal Order of Police spokesman Ryan Carver would not comment on the facts of the case Tuesday since he did not have access to the evidence, but said the organization has faith in the court process.
"We do have faith in the Davis County District Attorney. Their job is to determine whether probable cause exists and if (Lindsey) did commit a crime; and if they filed it, they obviously made that determination," Carver said. "At this point the FOP stance is that this is exactly what the courts are for, as long as due process is provided to all sides in any court situation where there's a criminal charge involved, then we leave it to the courts."