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Man leads police in low-speed chase

William Chaney
William Chaney
Provided by Salt Lake County Jail

William Chaney, 48, was arrested Thursday morning after a slow-speed chase with police in Salt Lake City.

About 5 a.m., Adult Probation and Parole received a call from Chaney's ex-girlfriend, who reported that he was outside her apartment with a loaded firearm. When police arrived at the apartment near 300 South and 300 East, Chaney hopped into his car and fled — at 30 mph.

Salt Lake City Police Sgt. Robin Snyder said it's strange for a suspect to flee police under the speed limit, but it makes the situation that much more suspicious.

"It raises a red flag, chasing somebody who is going slow," Snyder said.

Driving slowly makes it easier for an armed man to fire at his pursuers, she said. It also suggests that the suspect may want to get caught and shoot police officers when they approach the vehicle.

During the 15-minute chase, officers reported seeing Chaney waving his arm outside the window, but the lack of sunlight made it unclear whether he was waving a gun at them.

Chaney's ex-girlfriend told police that if the man were going to kill himself, he'd want to force an officer into a situation where he or she would use lethal force against him.

Thirteen years ago, Chaney was charged with attempted homicide in the shooting of his wife in their Rose Park home. During that incident, he threatened to kill the woman and himself when police surrounded the house. The standoff ended when Chaney was shot by a SWAT officer. He was convicted for attempted murder and served a 10-year sentence with parole.

Utah Highway Patrol joined in the slow pursuit once Chaney hopped on I-15. Officers eventually caught him near 3300 South and 250 West using a pit maneuver.

Chaney had a loaded gun within arm's reach on the front passenger seat, but he was arrested without incident, police said. He was booked on investigation of fleeing, violating a protective order and an outstanding warrant for violating parole.

Police say they don't know if Chaney intended to use his firearm on himself, his ex-girlfriend or law enforcement.

e-mail: mmcfall@desnews.com