SANDY — Criminal charges were filed Tuesday against a man who police say tried to hit an officer with his car, led police on a nearly hour-long chase despite having his tires spiked twice, then continued to resist arrest to the point that officers deployed a Taser on him and he had to be carried to a patrol car.
Juan Arias, 28, who is listed as homeless, is charged in 3rd District Court with assault against a police officer, a second-degree felony; three counts of failing to respond to an officer's signal to stop; a third-degree felony; reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor; and interfering with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor.
About 3:30 a.m. Friday, a Unified police officer attempted to pull over a BMW near 7500 S. State for not having any license plates. The car fled but police did not pursue at that point. However, other officers saturated the area and once again spotted the vehicle about 10 minutes later.
The officers had tire spikes in place. But as the driver fled near 665 E. Fort Union Blvd., the car drove across the median and into oncoming traffic toward an officer "who was forced to run to the back of his car to avoid being hit," according to charging documents.
At that point, officers from multiple agencies chased the vehicle. The ensuing chase went through Holladay, Midvale, West Jordan and Sandy. Speeds from the chase reached 90 mph, and Arias wore sunglasses as he drove, the charges state.
At one point, Arias slammed on his brakes on the wet road to try and get a pursuing officer to hit him, according to the court documents.
"Arias then sped through several red lights and almost collided with a semitruck in one of the intersections," charging documents say.
Police were able to spike the BMW's tires twice. The first time had no effect due to the vehicle having "run flat" tires, according to the charges. The second time, it worked. Police previously said the BMW also was out of gas when it came to a stop near 150 East and 10600 South about 4:45 a.m.1 comment on this story
As Arias got out of the car and ran, a Sandy police officer tackled him as he continued to struggle with officers while on the ground, the charges state. A Taser was deployed on Arias, who was then placed in handcuffs.
But he continued to "actively" fight officers who attempted to put him into the back of a patrol car, forcing police to carry him to the car, the charges state.
Bail is set at $50,000.
Court records show Arias' prior charges include intoxication, impaired driving and drug-related crimes.