Hotel employee watches takedown of suspect who reportedly caused trooper to fall off bridge

Feb 13, 2024, 4:57 PM | Updated: Feb 14, 2024, 6:10 am

SALT LAKE CITY — A scary experience for a Salt Lake City hotel worker as police captured the suspect accused of hitting a police car and causing a Utah Highway Patrol trooper to fall off a bridge.

Sgt. Mark Wian with the Salt Lake City Police Department said officers tried to stop an SUV near 900 W. North Temple just after 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The SUV fled and later hit another officer’s car near 7200 West and 1300 South. Troopers were in the process of deploying spike strips near Interstate 80 when one of them fell from the overpass onto the dirt road below.

The suspect, Sammy Michael Swickey, 34, parked his Dodge Durango SUV behind the Hampton Inn off 5600 West and I-80 after running from police. He then ran across a parking lot and through the back doors of the Quality Inn and Suites next door.

Irasema Barraza was working the front desk when cops came running inside.

“The officers came in and they were like, ‘Did you see someone coming in and running?’ and I’m like, ‘No,’ and they went in the back, and then that’s when I saw them all land on top of someone,” Barraza said. “It’s pretty scary. It looked like he was putting up a fight for sure.”

Barraza had no idea that the man who ran into her hotel was accused of crashing into a police car and causing a trooper to fall off a bridge.

“I was just like oh that is pretty crazy because that doesn’t really happen at this hotel it’s a pretty nice area,” she said.

The incident also shocked hotel guests.

“I thought it was something big because I saw the helicopter was involved, there must be something going on,” guest Jean-Louis Viljoen said.

“Pretty scary. I’m glad the police were there on time and got there and got the guy,” guest John Campbell said.

Swickey faces a variety of serious charges including aggravated assault against a police officer, possession of drug paraphernalia and fleeing the scene.

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Hotel employee watches takedown of suspect who reportedly caused trooper to fall off bridge