ST. GEORGE — Saturday, police chased down a fleeing man after construction barricades forced the man to stop driving, hop out of his car and run away on foot. The man was later caught by police in St. George and charged with theft, evading police officers, failing to stop at an officer’s command and numerous other traffic and vehicle registration violations.
On Saturday, January 25, 2014, at approximately 3 p.m., a Washington City police officer observed a vehicle that he had observed commit several traffic violations the previous day, according to a press release by Washington City Public Information Officer, Ed Kantor.
A short time later the officer observed the vehicle and attempted to stop it. The driver accelerated west on Buena Vista Blvd. towards St. George, Kantor said, where the officer observed the vehicle travel down a street that was blocked off for construction work. The driver abandoned the vehicle on the dead-end street and fled on foot.
A short time later the driver was located and detained by St. George Police officers who were helping with the search. Washington City police responded to the area and placed the driver in custody, Kantor said.
Further investigation showed that the incorrect license plate that was displayed on the vehicle had recently been stolen from a vehicle in Saint George.
Joshua Swetky, 28, of Veyo, Utah was arrested and booked into the Washington County’s Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was charged with evading and failing to stop at an officer’s command along with numerous traffic and vehicle registration violations. He was also charged with possession of the stolen license plate.
After being booked into jail, two third-degree felonies for financial card theft were added to Swetky’s charges by the Hurricane City Police Department who had been looking for Swetky.
The HCPD was in the process of trying to get a warrant out for his arrest from an incident on Jan. 10 when someone stole a wallet from a gas station, Hurricane Police Department Sgt. Brandon Buell said. Based on evidence from an investigation into the stolen wallet incident, officers charged Swetky with the theft.
If someone has been convicted previously for theft, then that charge can be enhanced, Buell said. Swetky was also charged with a third-degree felony for theft with two prior convictions.
All of these offenses were separate from the arrests made by the Washington City Police on Saturday, Buell said.
Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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