Citizen subdues suspect who fled scene after crashing into minivan carrying four children

Posted at 9:11 PM, Sep 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-19 10:49:24-04

MIDVALE, Utah -- A West Jordan man recounted the moments he chased down a criminal suspect and caught the man for police in Midvale Saturday night.

Utah Highway Patrol said Craig Day led them on a chase, then moments after they terminated the chase, he caused a crash that sent two children to the hospital.

Craig Day

Craig Day

Thomas Fortune said he was on his way home from work when he witnessed the crash on 7200 South near the southbound I-15 off-ramp.

"All you hear is the squealing of the tires, and he couldn't quite make the turn, and I could see it make contact with the van," Fortune said.

An SUV that police said belonged to Craig Day crashed into a minivan.

"He hit the rear two-thirds of that minivan directly, where two children were sitting, and there were four children in the minivan total," said UHP Sergeant Nick Bricker.

Fortune saw it unfold. Day allegedly jumped out of the SUV and started running.

"As soon as I see that, and then somebody else [said], 'Please help! Somebody stop him!,'" Fortune recounted.

At that point, Fortune's adrenaline kicked in and he jumped into action.

"When he took off running from it... I just went," he said. "I didn't think too much about it, I just jumped out and ran after him."

Fortune said the man tried to hide under a car, but Fortune spotted him. The man continued to run through the nearby Denny's parking lot.

"He tried to say 'Well, why are you chasing me?'" Fortune said. "I said, 'You know what you did.'"

Then, he caught the guy.

"At that point, I just kind of grabbed him and then pinned him down," he said.

Little did Fortune know, the man he nabbed had been fleeing from police in a high-speed chase.

UHP said that was after someone reported Day driving erratically in Davis County. And of course, there's the crash. Sgt. Bricker said they're grateful Fortune stepped in.

"It really helps with closure for us, and also with the family, to be able to have the suspect in custody after something like that happened where he put some children in the hospital," he said. "It was a huge relief for us."

For Fortune, it was just the right thing to do.

"Somebody needed help, and it was an opportunity there, and I reacted and did it," he said.

Thanks to Fortune, Day is now sitting in jail on nine charges including DUI, drug possession and reckless driving.

Sgt. Bricker said the two children sent to the hospital suffered broken bones and scrapes, but are expected to recover.