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Sandra Yi reporting"This individual was kicking me with full force with both of his legs on the side of the head, and all I could do was use one arm to try and stop him," says Deputy Darrell Magee of the Salt Lake County Sheriff's Office.
The suspect began kicking the officer while they were driving on a busy highway close to rush hour.
The suspect took the deputy on the ride of his career that started in Magna and ended on the 900 West offramp of Highway 201.
Lt. Andy Burton says, "He kind of goes back and forth. One moment he's calm, and the next minute he's violently kicking and thrashing about, yelling and screaming."
Police cars surround the assault suspect who took the deputy on a short but wild ride to jail.
Officer Magee arrested the suspect in Magna for aggravated assault. Relatives told police the man threatened his girlfriend with a knife, hit his mother and tried to choke his uncle.
"Apparently he has a long history of mental illness, and we also have determined that he has a criminal history, as well," says Lt. Burton.
The trip to jail started out calmly enough. Things changed as the suspect began a verbal assault that included satanic comments.
"At one point he looked over at me and stated that if he was going to jail, he might as well go to prison for killing a cop," says Magee.
Then, out of nowhere, Magee says his prisoner, who was sitting in the front passenger seat handcuffed, spun his legs around and began kicking him in the head.
"When an individual is kicking you with their legs, using their full body force behind it, it definitely made up for the size difference between the two of us," Magee says.
Magee used one arm to hold the suspect still and his other to steer clear of danger on the highway. He managed to safely pull over on an offramp, where help soon arrived.
Medical teams evaluated the man. He was then hauled off to jail without further incident.
"This has never happened before," Magee says, "and let's hope it never happens again."
Deputies say the suspect told them he is schizophrenic and was off his medication.
They say something like this rarely happens. Typically a person being taken to jail is in handcuffs and shackles. This one was wearing handcuffs and seatbelted in.
Fortunately the deputy wasn't hurt and there were no traffic problems.