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AMERICAN FORK — Police continued early Wednesday to search for a man who they suspect of kidnapping a child and attempting to rob a Walmart in American Fork, then leading officers on a series of chases.
Officers were dispatched to the Walmart at 949 Grassland Drive about 8:50 p.m. Tuesday on a report of a theft, but when they approached the man and ordered him to stop, he ran and got into a vehicle with a woman, American Fork Police Lt. Josh Christensen said.
Police identified the driver as Danny Sihalath, 29.
The woman then left the vehicle and "began to comply with police," but Sihalath then hit her with the vehicle as he fled, Christensen said. A Utah County sheriff's deputy fired at the man inside the vehicle and a pursuit began.
A video taken by bystanders at the parking lot shows police yelling at the driver to get out of the vehicle, and then the car backs out in the direction of officers. The woman, who appears to be standing in the parking space, is then hit by the side-front end of the car, falls to her knees and then appears to start getting back up, according to the video shared on social media. The car then speeds through the parking lot and exits.
The woman sustained minor injuries. Police do not yet know if Sihalath was injured when the deputy shot at him. No officers were hurt during the incident.
People who witnessed the incident at Walmart said they feared for their own safety as they saw the man hit the woman and police surround the area.
Police lost Sihalath, but Christensen said more officers located him and pursued him two more times before ending the chase. Other police agencies also responded to help find Sihalath.
A 5-year-old boy who was in the back seat of the car was identified as a child police had been searching for with an Amber Alert. The boy was found safe early Wednesday at a family member's home in Salt Lake County. No other information was released about the alleged kidnapping, and police have not said whether Sihalath is related to the boy.
Sihalath was described in the Amber Alert as a 5 feet, 11 inches tall, Asian or Pacific Islander with black hair and brown eyes. Sihalath weighs 190 pounds and has a sleeve tattoo on both forearms. He was last seen wearing a black shirt, black pants and dark tennis shoes.
Police warned anyone who sees Sihalath to use caution.
"If anyone sees this individual, don't approach because again we don't know if he is dangerous or armed or anything but if they would immediately contact the police department," Christensen said.
West Valley police announced they found the vehicle Sihalath was driving during the incident, a red 2012 Accura TSX SE.