High speed chase ends with rollover, arrest, 9 felony charges

IRON COUNTY — A 28-year-old Las Vegas man was arrested Monday, racking up 14 criminal charges following a high speed chase on northbound Interstate 15. The chase culminated in a crash and single-vehicle rollover late Sunday night near Exit 71, the Summit Interchange.

Around 11:20 p.m. Sunday, a deputy with the Washington County Sheriff’s Office attempted to pull the man over on northbound I-15 near milepost 34 because the vehicle appeared to have expired registration.

Ruben Coca, of Las Vegas, Nevada, booking photo posted July 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News
Ruben Coca, of Las Vegas, Nevada, booking photo posted July 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of the Iron County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

However, the deputy lost sight of the vehicle near the Washington County and Iron County line. The deputy terminated the pursuit and notified Cedar City dispatch of the situation.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers and Cedar City Police officers were on the lookout for a BMW with Nevada plates, according to a probable cause statement written by Utah Highway Patrol Trooper Adam Gibbs in support of the arrest.

A UHP trooper, who was stationary in his patrol car near milepost 57, saw the BMW pass but did not attempt to pull the vehicle over because he had not yet confirmed it was the right car.

When the driver of the BMW, later identified as Ruben Coca, noticed law enforcement in the area, he attempted to flee. The pursuit continued, according to the statement, reaching speeds upwards of 116 mph.

When Coca attempted to take Exit 71, he lost control of the BMW and it went off the left side of the roadway and then rolled, the statement said. Coca was ejected from the BMW during the rollover.

A high speed police pursuit ended in a single-vehicle rollover on Interstate 15 near Summit Exit 71, Iron County, Utah, July 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Wayne Hall, St. George News
A high speed police pursuit ended in a single-vehicle rollover on Interstate 15 near Summit Exit 71, Iron County, Utah, July 13, 2015 | Photo courtesy of Wayne Hall, St. George News

Responding officers in pursuit found Coca appearing to be “passed out” next to the vehicle and proceeded to cuff him.

“While officers attempted to place cuffs on (Coca),” Gibbs wrote in the statement, “he continued to fight and try to free himself from the officers.”

During a search of the accident scene, authorities found two wallets containing several different identification cards and social security cards, according to the statement, along with four finance transaction cards that did not match up with any of the names on the identification cards.

Coca was arrested and booked into the Iron County Jail.

He was charged with nine third-degree felonies for failing to stop at the command of police, unlawful acquisition of a finance card and obtaining multiple identifying documents of another person; two class B misdemeanors for interference with an arresting officer and reckless driving; two class C misdemeanors for operating a vehicle without insurance and no vehicle registration; and an infraction for not having a valid driver’s license.

Bail for his release pending trial stands at $13,000.

Coca was scheduled to make his initial court appearance Tuesday.

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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Email: kscott@stgnews.com

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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1 Comment

  • mesaman July 15, 2015 at 11:06 pm

    Maybe you get free ride back to Mexico, si? Cedar City not a sanctuary city so you in mucho caca.

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