Man 3rd to assault SLC officers in 1 day after ramming police cars unprovoked, police say

A man was arrested Thursday after attempting to ram several police cars in Salt Lake City before ultimately crashing ...

Posted: May 8, 2018 5:18 AM
Updated: May 8, 2018 5:18 AM

A man was arrested Thursday after attempting to ram several police cars in Salt Lake City before ultimately crashing head-on into one of the vehicles. This was the third assault of a Salt Lake officer that day, police said.

Raul Amezcua, 46, began shouting at gang detectives patrolling the area near 1200 W. Lexington Ave. about 10 p.m. Amezcua then got into a van and drove toward the detectives' patrol car at high speed, attempting to ram the vehicle. The detectives were barely able to avoid the van, said Salt Lake Police Sgt. Brandon Shearer.

The detectives turned on their patrol lights, but that did not deter Amezcua. He attempted to hit the vehicle several more times and was about to flee when a few more patrol cars arrived on the scene, Shearer said.

Amezcua turned back around and crashed head-on into one of the patrol cars that had arrived, also causing damage to a second police car and totaling Amezcua's vehicle. Officers attempted to use a Taser on Amezcua but deployed a K-9 instead when the Taser failed.

Amezcua was taken into custody, transported to the hospital and later booked into jail on suspicion of aggravated assault on a police officer, criminal mischief, assault on a police service animal, resisting arrest and possession of drug paraphernalia. Amezcua has a criminal history in Utah extending back to 2003.

"Thankfully, the officers were uninjured, but he was definitely trying to hurt them," Shearer said. "They were just driving through the area, they'd had no previous interactions with him."

The assault was the third that day for Salt Lake police. Officers responded to two trespassing incidents earlier in the day, and both trespassers attempted to resist the officers. One officer sustained injuries to his wrist, but the others were uninjured. Both trespassers were booked into jail.

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