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Couple arrested after high-speed police chase on I-15 with baby on board

file photo uhp trooper utah highway patrol trooper vehicle on I-15 in Draper car vehicle accident fatal motorcycle crash (2).JPG
Posted at 3:39 PM, Mar 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-15 17:52:53-04

IRON COUNTY, Utah — The mother and father of a 5-month-old girl were arrested after police say the man fled from Utah Highway Patrol troopers, driving extremely dangerously.

Monday morning on I-15 just south of St. George, a UHP trooper attempted to pull over a vehicle that had expired registration.

The driver did not stop, however, and took off at over 100 miles per hour. Court documents state that the trooper had begun to pursue the vehicle, but ended the chase when the driver took a freeway exit and ran a red light.

Another trooper later spotted the same vehicle about 45 miles north of the initial traffic stop attempt, approaching Cedar City. Troopers attempted to spike the vehicle's tires, but they say the driver swerved onto the freeway shoulder and again sped up to over 100 miles per hour. They were ultimately able to spike the tires successfully, and the vehicle came to a stop.

The driver, identified as 21-year-old Hector Ruiz Godoy, later admitted to fleeing from the UHP troopers, as well as fleeing from police at least two other times since 2020.

Mary Mahuinga Danielle Niu, 20, was a passenger in the vehicle, and police say Godoy's and Niu's 5-month-old daughter was also inside.

READ: Suspected DUI driver arrested after 2-year-old seen hanging out window in Ogden

Niu was arrested facing one misdemeanor charge of reckless endangerment. Court documents say she did not attempt to get Godoy to stop during the chase until the tires had been spiked. Her bail was set at $500.

Godoy faces five misdemeanor charges, one felony, and one traffic infraction. Police say the vehicle had not been registered since it was sold by the previous owner in 2019, still had the prior owner's plates, and was not insured. Troopers reportedly also found marijuana in the vehicle, in the form of THC wax from a dispensary.

Godoy was ordered to be held without bail and faces charges including reckless endangerment, reckless driving, failure to stop at the command of police, and drug possession.

"He was willing to run with his 5 month old daughter in the car," a UHP trooper wrote in the arrest report. "He is a clear threat to the community and is willing to risk his life, and others."