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Suspect found in stolen vehicle faces charges for assaulting, attempting to disarm police officer

SALT LAKE CITY — A man was booked into jail on charges that include assaulting an officer and attempting to disarm an officer after he allegedly resisted arrest in a series of physical struggles.

Lt. Robin Heiden of the Salt Lake City Police Department said an off-duty police officer working a part-time job was patrolling a parking lot in the area of 600 South and 200 West Thursday evening.

The officer saw a van pull up some distance away from a Maverik and observed a passenger get out and walk up to the convenience store. The officer felt this was suspicious and went to speak with the driver and also ran a check on the van’s license plates.

The check showed the van had been reported stolen, so the officer tried to arrest the driver, who fled on foot. The officer caught up with the man, and a brief struggle ensued on the ground.

“The male got away, he went around a corner of the Maverik and attempted to attack the officer at that point,” Heiden said. “The officer then struggled with him again and he was able to ask for help from other officers.”

Backup units responded and the man was ultimately taken into custody. Heiden said officers were nearby participating in “Operation Rio Grande” and were able to arrive quickly to assist.

“At one point this male was going for items on this officer’s belt, so it was quite a struggle between him and this officer,” Heiden said.

The suspect was arrested and will face charges for assaulting an officer, attempting to disarm a police officer and for driving a stolen vehicle. Heiden said the man was also on probation but had not checked in with police as required upon his release from jail.

The passenger who was in the van was arrested for some outstanding warrants, but Heiden said the passenger is not facing any charges in connection with Thursday’s incident.

The identities of the parties involved have not been released.

There were no reports of serious injury in connection with the altercation.