CRIME

Police: Man suspected of ‘targeting’ pedestrian during life-threatening hit-and-run crash

Mar 14, 2024, 7:48 PM | Updated: Mar 15, 2024, 6:10 am

The scene of the hit-and-run accident on March 11...

The scene of the hit-and-run accident on March 11. (Salt Lake City Police Department)

(Salt Lake City Police Department)

SALT LAKE CITY — A man accused of running a red light and hitting a woman, leaving her with life-threatening injuries, was arrested Wednesday.

Anh Duy Pham, 26, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on felony charges of aggravated assault and failure to remain at the scene of an accident involving serious injury, according to a police affidavit.

On Monday morning, Salt Lake City police responded to a car hitting a woman while she was in a crosswalk at 600 W. North Temple and leaving the scene.

Witnesses told police the vehicle involved in the accident “appeared to speed up prior to the intersection, and the light was clearly red prior to the collision,” according to the affidavit.

The affidavit said parts were found at the scene, described as “white plastic trim piece with part #52128-AC010-B, piece of a broken mirror, damaged grill with a Toyota emblem.”

Police searched the part number on Google, and it indicated the part would belong to a 1997-1999 Toyota Avalon. The affidavit reported the make and model also matched the damaged grill.

According to the affidavit, police obtained multiple videos of a white Toyota Avalon driving around the area before the crash.

The affidavit stated, “In the videos, the vehicle is observed slowing down and straddling the bike lane as he is approaching North Temple. This continues until two pedestrians are observed entering the crosswalk at North Temple.”

Police said video shows the Toyota speeding up with no signs of braking as the pedestrians were crossing the road while they had the right of way. The affidavit stated that the Toyota “strikes one of the pedestrians as if he was targeting them.”

Police used Salt Lake City’s license plate reader system to search for the Toyota’s owner and found that the owner lived in Salt Lake City.

The affidavit stated that officers found a damaged Toyota with missing parts that matched the hit-and-run and indicated a pedestrian strike. Officers found Pham inside the home where the car was parked and took him to the Salt Lake City Public Safety Building to be interviewed.

Police said Pham said his mother was the registered owner of the Toyota, but he has been driving it for two years. He told police he was the only person who drove the Toyota and didn’t loan it out to anyone.

Officers asked Pham where he was during the accident. He told police he was staying with a friend in Rose Park and did not hit the woman. However, the affidavit states that Pham changed his answer during the interview, telling police he was in West Jordan or he didn’t remember where he was.

According to the affidavit, when officers asked Pham about the damages to his Toyota, he said his “vehicle had always been like that.” Officers questioned Pham about why his car was seen driving in the area of the hit-and-run; he had no explanation.

After the interview, Pham was taken into custody for the hit-and-run. According to police, the woman is in the hospital in critical but stable condition.

In another police affidavit, Pham is suspected of calling in a “swatting” incident on July 10, 2023, claiming a woman was walking around with a gun in the air, yelling that she was going to shoot people.

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Police: Man suspected of ‘targeting’ pedestrian during life-threatening hit-and-run crash