CRIME

Man hit by own truck trying to stop carjacking in West Valley City

Sep 19, 2022, 6:24 PM | Updated: Sep 20, 2022, 11:42 am

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A scary and crazy situation sent a man to the hospital after police said he tried to stop another man from carjacking him.

The situation unfolded in a neighborhood near 3200 West 3100 South in West Valley City early Monday morning.

Amador Gabriel said he was awake in his home when he could hear his neighbor yelling, “No, no!” outside.

“He heard [the neighbor’s] car accelerate, and then he heard his neighbor scream like, ‘Ouch!’ in pain,” said Eddie Perez, translating for Gabriel.

Gabriel described to Perez how he ran outside to find his neighbor on the ground, injured and bleeding, on Gabriel’s driveway.

“He asked him what happened, and then his neighbor told him that they took his car and ran him over,” Perez said on behalf of Gabriel.

Gabriel quickly called 911, and West Valley City Police responded. WVCPD spokesperson Roxeanne Vainuku explained that the victim was warming up his white 1999 Ford Ranger truck outside his home when he went back inside.

Another man, seeing an opportunity, hopped in to steal it, she indicated. The victim came back outside and saw the man trying to steal his truck.

“He got in front of that truck to try to stop it from leaving,” Vainuku said. “And the suspect in this case just hit the gas, and hit right into this guy and dragged him out all the way into the street.”

The victim went to the hospital with broken bones, cuts, and abrasions, Vainuku continued. They believe this was a crime of opportunity, the kind they start seeing more of as the weather cools this time of year.

“People will start their vehicles, they’ll leave them warming up in the driveway, and someone will just take that opportunity to steal their vehicles,” Vainuku explained.

She urged people to keep vehicles locked, and if vehicle owners catch someone stealing their car, don’t go after them. Try to gather as much information about the suspect as possible and call the police.

“You really put yourself at grave risk,” Vainuku said. “This victim, in this case, suffered some fairly significant injuries.”

Gabriel hopes his neighbor will be okay and also urges people to keep their doors locked no matter what.

“Everybody be careful,” he said.

WVCPD officers are now looking for the white 1999 Ford Ranger with welding equipment in the back and the suspect, described as a man in his 30s, wearing a blue jacket.

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Man hit by own truck trying to stop carjacking in West Valley City