DAVIS COUNTY, Utah – Troopers with the Utah Highway Patrol responded to an unusual situation Saturday morning after a woman reportedly sprayed a cab driver with Mace and then moved her and her daughter outside of the stopped cab and into traffic on I-15.
Sgt. James Banks, Utah Highway Patrol, said they were dispatched to an area of southbound I-15 just prior to Center Street in Davis County.
“It was reported that the woman inside the vehicle had sprayed the cab driver with Mace, or some kind of Chemical Mace, and she exited the vehicle with her 4-year-old daughter and the woman and her daughter were outside the vehicle and in traffic,” he said.
When police responded, the woman and young girl were on the off ramp, and Banks said some good Samaritans should be credited with moving her and the girl away from the main flow of traffic on I-15 and to the off-ramp.
“We’re actually grateful for the people who stopped and actually tried to get her off the off-ramp to keep her from being hit,” Banks said.
Banks said it was not clear what caused the altercation. He said the incident is under investigation but said the cab driver told police he didn’t do anything to provoke the attack. Banks said it is his understanding that the cab had already stopped when the Mace was used.
“We haven’t been given any information from either of them why it happened,” Banks said. “We’re not sure if the woman was having some type of mental issue or something to that effect—like I said she stepped out of the vehicle and was in traffic, which is obviously a concern for us, but we’re not exactly sure what [started] it.”
Banks said the woman, believed to be in her 30s, was coherent and spoke with police but he said she had a hard time communicating effectively and was very nervous, so they decided to have medical personnel respond and examine her. She was transported to a hospital, and the young girl’s stepfather was contacted and he came to collect her.
Banks said the situation could have potentially resulted in a crash or injury.
“Anytime somebody’s outside their vehicle on the freeway, they’re in a dangerous situation, I would even go as far as saying just being stopped on the freeway is a dangerous situation, even off to the side, high speeds, you know, we got there as quick as we could,” he said. “[We] responded and tried to contain the situation so people weren’t in harm’s way.”
Banks said the incident is under investigation and no charges have been filed at this point.