Exclusive: Bystander Recounts Being Hit By Car While Trying To Stop Theft

Dec 10, 2019, 6:04 AM

MURRAY, Utah — Art, who is a former Marine, isn’t one to sit back and do nothing.

On Friday night, while enjoying a cup of coffee in his car, he spotted something unusual happening in the parking lot near 900 East 5900 South.

“I was getting ready to take another sip of coffee,” he said. “All of a sudden I heard, ‘Thanks,’ and yelling and a car starting to drive off.”

Murray police said it was a man who had just snatched a phone he claimed he wanted to buy from a father and son.

“I thought maybe there might be some life at risk,” Art said. “So I took action and jumped out of my vehicle.”

Art ran to grab the suspect, but the person was able to jump into the getaway car. The vehicle then hit Art during the escape.

The incident was caught on cell phone video as the victims of the theft attempted to record the vehicle’s license plate.

“I hear the engine accelerating, and I turn around and look and it was right there; it hit me,” he said. “I questioned whether it was a good idea at the time.”

The incident left him with a broken nose, separated shoulder, road rash, bumps and bruises. Art said he did not regret jumping in to help but does not recommend other follow in his footsteps.

“I hope they have better judgment,” he said. “Just don’t jump into something headfirst. I don’t like this for everybody.”

Murray police worked with West Valley City on the case, since they believe the same suspect was involved in similar crimes in both cities. They arrested Alejandro Eslava who is now facing several charges including aggravated robbery, aggravated assault, and failure to remain at the scene of a crash involving an injury.

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Exclusive: Bystander Recounts Being Hit By Car While Trying To Stop Theft