ST. GEORGE — A man was taken into police custody Tuesday after allegedly crashing his truck and leaving the scene of the accident, evading police and then wrecking his vehicle a second time — and it was all caught on camera.
At approximately 7:36 p.m., members of the St. George Police Department were attempting to locate a white Toyota Tacoma that had allegedly crashed into a block wall at 2051 E. Red Hills Parkway in St. George and then left the scene, according to a probable cause statement signed by St. George Police Officer James Schafer on behalf of Officer Tim Linton.
While patrolling the area, Linton, the arresting officer in the case, located the vehicle in question driving south on 1000 East toward St. George Boulevard, the statement said. The vehicle appeared to have been damaged from a crash.
“The front passenger side of the truck was smashed,” the statement said, “and the truck did not seem to be running very well.”
The officer turned on his overhead lights and attempted to conduct a traffic stop on the truck, the statement said, but the Toyota’s driver did not stop. As the officer continued following the vehicle, the driver stopped at a red light and then continued on when it turned green.
At the next red light, however, the driver crashed his Toyota into the back of another truck that was stopped at the light. The Toyota was traveling about 30 mph at the time of the impact and did not appear to brake, according to the statement.
The driver of the Toyota was identified as 33-year-old Ronald Bodi McEwen, a resident of Salt Lake City.
During the investigation into the incidents, officers discovered the Toyota had an in-cab camera, and footage from the camera allegedly showed McEwen crashing into the initial block wall twice and also committing other offenses, according to the statement.
The video showed McEwen throwing a jug of chemicals out of the Toyota’s window, the statement said. In addition to the littering, the video showed McEwen swerving on the roadway and apparently choosing not to stop for police. He looked into his rear-view mirror and side mirror as the officer pursued him with emergency lights on.
“(It) appeared that Ronald was aware that I was behind him,” the statement said.
Following his final crash at the red light, McEwen was transported to the emergency room by ambulance, the statement said. There, he was treated and given medical clearance and was then transported to the Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility.
McEwen has been charged with one second-degree felony for criminal mischief for destroying property exceeding $5,000 in value; one third-degree felony for failure to respond to an offer’s signal to stop; two class B misdemeanors for reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident; and one class C misdemeanor for littering destructive materials.
According to booking information at the time of this report, McEwen posted bail via a bond payment and has been released from custody.
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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