Man arrested after assaulting WVC officer, fleeing, police say

Posted at 2:09 PM, Apr 26, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-26 18:30:47-04

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A man parked at a West Valley City elementary school assaulted a police officer dispatched to the scene and then fled, officials confirmed Sunday, and the man allegedly was high on methamphetamine when the incident occurred.

The incident occurred a little before 8 p.m. on Saturday. A police officer was called to a suspicious vehicle at Jackling Elementary, 3760 S. 4610 West. The officer on scene noticed the suspect appeared to be smoking methamphetamine in the vehicle, but the man did not notice the officer, who then walked around the car and then saw the man’s eyes appeared to be closed.

The driver appeared to be sleeping, and according to a statement of probable cause the officer thought the man may have overdosed. The officer opened the car door, woke the driver and ordered him to step out of the car.

Once the suspect, identified as  Eric Dustin Johnson, 31, was out of the vehicle, he tried to flee from the officer and during the course of fleeing he was tackled and he punched the officer in the face.Johnson eventually broke away, fled into a nearby field then locked himself in a shed on someone’s property.

Police obtained a key from the property owner and asked Johnson to come out. Lt. Julie Jorgensen with West Valley City police said the suspect refused to come out.

At that point, a K9 was reportedly sent in to bring Johnson out but the dog was unable to reach the suspect because he was hiding behind boxes.

Jorgensen said a second canine was sent in and was able to bite Johnson’s arm and drag him out of the shed.

Johnson is a fugitive and was listed as armed and dangerous. He was booked into Salt Lake County Jail, and according to the PC statement he faces charges that include fleeing, criminal trespass, assault on a police officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, and possession of a controlled substance. The statement also listed a felony US Marshals hold for the man.