Video Documents Alleged Truck Attack Outside SLC Restaurant
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Hires Big H general manager Jim Merrill maintains he simply asked a driver to move his truck before the driver intentionally ran over him.
On Tuesday, Merrill was discharged from the hospital with a full cast on his leg, facing a recovery expected to last weeks.
“To only have my ankle seriously broken, I feel that it’s a blessing — to be able to be here with my family and friends and everything for the holidays is great,” Merrill said, reclined in his living room. “I’m just happy to be here.”
Merrill said the driver should face serious legal consequences for what took place at lunchtime Friday in the parking lot of the restaurant, located near the corner of 400 South and 700 East.
Surveillance video showed Merrill appearing to direct the driver, subsequently identified by Salt Lake City Police investigators as 27-year-old Patrick Walker, before the truck is seen driving into Merrill.
“It was really traumatic and unexpected,” Merrill said. “When he backed over me, and took my foot back the other way again this time, that was excruciating pain because it went the wrong direction, and of course when they got in there, the foot was turned the wrong way so they had to put it back in place.”
Merrill said he feared the situation could have turned out worse.
“If he had kept going, he probably would have ran over my chest and probably would have killed me,” he said.
Merrill, who has worked at Hires for 50 years, said he has never had another interaction like this one.
“I have never had a situation like that (and) hopefully I never will again,” he said.
Det. Greg Wilking said police knew where to find Walker, and that prosecutors were screening charges against him.
A search of court records showed Walker was convicted in 2014 of a felony charge of retaliation against a witness, victim or informant.
According to a charging document in the case, Walker was accused of sending an instant message to a woman, threatening to kill her for firing his fiancé from McDonalds, and then sending an additional threatening message to the woman after Sandy City filed a charge of threat of violence against him.
An attorney who claimed to represent Walker said the man was in contact with investigators the day of the incident, but provided no further statement on his client’s behalf Tuesday.
Merrill said he hoped for a significant legal consequence for Walker.
“This guy needs help and he needs to get off the street,” Merrill said. “That’s all there is to it.”
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