SALT LAKE CITY -- A routine traffic stop turned into a police chase early Saturday morning in Salt Lake City. It started at 3300 South and State Street and ended in a crash about a block away.
Utah Highway Patrol trooper Jared Patterson was only expecting to hand out a ticket, but instead he uncovered much more than a traffic violation.
“I was directly behind a black Ford pickup truck,” he said. “I observed multiple traffic violations.”
When he approached the truck, Patterson said he could smell alcohol, and he asked the driver, Jose Cardenas, 26, to step out for a sobriety test. According to a police report, Cardenas showed obvious signs of impairment. As Patterson attempted to arrest him for driving under the influence, the traffic stop turned into a chase.
Patterson said: “He spun away and immediately fled on foot. I wasn’t able to hold the grip on the one arm as he immediately spun away.”
Patterson said he was able to catch up with Cardenas about 40 yards down the street. As he tried to arrest him again, he was met with more resistance.
“I received a strike to the nose, obviously here, from I think an elbow, as he was trying to escape my custody,” Patterson said. “Minor bumps and bruises, knees and elbows and hands, from wrestling on the asphalt.”
Cardenas managed to escape again and ran back to the truck where a passenger, Eduardo Soto-Cardenas, 21, was moving into the driver’s seat. Cardenas jumped into the truck bed. Authorities said those in the truck fled but didn’t make it far. Police found their truck crashed into a car parked nearby.
Soto-Cardenas was arrested outside the truck, and police found Cardenas hiding in nearby bushes. With the help of a K9 unit, they took him into custody.
Patterson said, “You never know what you’re going to get when you’re dealing with people. It’s unpredictable.”
According to UHP, a woman who was also riding in the car with the men was arrested on outstanding felony warrants. Police said she told them she was carrying drugs on her, and they discovered 20 balloons containing a substance. She told police Cardenas had asked her to hide them in her pants when they were stopped by police, according to the police report.
Soto-Cardenas is facing charges for obstruction of justice and fleeing the scene.
The driver, Cardenas, is also facing several charges, including DUI, resisting arrest and felony drug charges.