Seven arrested in multi-agency overnight street racing crackdown in Salt Lake City

File photo: Gephardt Daily/Monico Garza/SLCScanner

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, July 16, 2022 (Gephardt Daily) — Seven people were arrested overnight in a joint operation into street racing in the region of 4800 West and 1100 South.

Six were arrested at the scene and one allegedly tried to flee the area but was apprehended, according to probable cause statements filed in Salt Lake Third District Court.

The six suspects arrested at the scene are identified as follows:

  • Cristopher Flores Luna, 23, who admitted running three times and was videotaped.
  • Erric Balderas, 22, who was observed by undercover officers while street racing and admitted to participating in a race, points to his statement of probable cause.
  • Gustavo Mendez, 20, who admitted to having participated in a race, indicates his press release.
  • Jonathan Laguna, 23, who was observed running by an undercover officer, points to his statement of arrest.
  • Thomas John Madsen, 45, who was observed by undercover officers engaging in street racing, was seen at the start line and received a signal ‘indicating they were going to run’, his statement read of probable cause.
  • Jose Manuel Garcia, 20, who was seen driving in a street race, according to his probable cause statement.

Each suspect listed above faces a single charge of speeding or exhibiting on the highway, a class A misdemeanor. In addition, Garcia faces a charge of driving a vehicle without insurance, a misdemeanor class C. Each suspect above was jailed on bail set at $500.

Jean Aage Bernier was jailed on $5,000 bond and additional charges, allegedly attempting to flee the scene.

Bernier, 29, is charged with:

  • Failure to arrest or respond to an officer’s order, a third degree felony.
  • Driving under the influence of alcohol/drugs, a class B misdemeanor.
  • Reckless driving, a class B misdemeanor.
  • Possession of marijuana/spice controlled substances, a misdemeanor class.
  • Accident with property damage, operator duties, class B misdemeanor.
  • Open container/consumption of alcohol in a vehicle, a class C misdemeanor.

Bernier’s probable cause statement indicates that at approximately 11:44 p.m. Friday, the filing officer – from the Utah Highway Patrol – moved into the area with officers from the State Bureau of Investigation and the Salt Lake City Police Department, and observed “dozens of vehicles were street racing.

The report filed on Bernier says his white Subaru “drove out of the parking lot and crashed into another vehicle. Then the driver drove around the pedestrians and the shutdown of police who nearly hit officers outside their vehicles. I positioned my vehicle for stop him and he nearly went head-on with me and another soldier, ramming into the shoulder.

“The driver then lost control and hit a concrete commercial sign at high speed in the off-roadway area, disabling his vehicle. We performed a high-risk check and arrested the driver. The driver was identified by a Utah driver Licence.

“The driver had red and bloodshot eyes, admitted to smoking marijuana earlier in the day. he relaxed facial features. During an inventory of the vehicle, I found marijuana in the center console area and a containing alcohol. I observed an odor of alcoholic beverage coming from the driver and the vehicle.

Bernier, still handcuffed due to his escape attempt, underwent a field sobriety test and was found to be intoxicated. Two passengers in his vehicle »complained of injuries following the accident. EMS assessed them onsite,” the statement read.

Gephardt Daily will have more information on this story if details are released.

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