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Man in custody after police incident forces closure of I-15 in Davis County

Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 08, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-08 19:51:41-04

DAVIS COUNTY, Utah – A man is in custody after a police response that forced the closure of I-15 near Clearfield for several hours Monday night.

Clearfield Police made contact with 35-year-old Christopher Scott Lewis of Grantsville while responding to an unrelated traffic incident.

According to a statement of probable cause, the officer found Lewis "slumped over drooling on the ground" under the I-15 overpass. The officer said he woke Lewis, who ultimately admitted to being a drug user and agreed to be checked out medically.

The officer said he noted "fresh track marks up both arms" while talking to Lewis and also found drug paraphernalia among his belongings.

The officer asked Lewis to wait while he resolved his investigation into the traffic accident and said Lewis agreed. However, he said Lewis tried to leave after the medical evaluation and the officer had to ask him to stop. After a backup officer arrived on scene, police say Lewis walked to the back of the initial officer's car "pulled a gun out and said he was going to kill himself."

Police ordered Lewis to drop the weapon but instead he fled before coming to a stop  on the I-15 overpass at 650 North.

Sgt. Nick Street of the Utah Highway Patrol said while the man never pointed the gun at officers, they closed the freeway in the interest of public safety. Fox 13 News first heard report of that closure around 5:30 p.m. Monday.

"The individual during the encounter with police held a gun to his head, didn’t obey the commands of police," Street said. "He never pointed the weapon at anybody but himself, so police didn’t want to escalate the situation."

Police ultimately used rounds filled with a powder similar to pepper spray to take Lewis into custody. I-15 was reopened shortly after 9 p.m. Monday.

Lewis was booked into the Davis County Jail. Police located a white crystal substance that field tested positive for methamphetamine among his belongings, according to the PC statement.

Lewis faces charges of possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, failure to stop at the command of police, possession of a controlled substance, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The PC statement also notes that Lews is on probation or parole and had cut his ankle bracelet off.  He is also prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Fox 13 News does not generally report on incidents involving suicidal subjects unless there is a broader impact to the public, such as police response and an associated road closure.