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Man arrested following chase in West Valley City

WEST VALLEY CITY — A man who authorities say fled from West Valley police and then tried to hide in a backyard was arrested late Wednesday.

An officer doing a routine patrol just after 11 p.m. near Valley Fair Mall, near 3500 South and 2700 West, discovered a vehicle that had a license plate that was not in his computer database, said police Capt. Tom McLachlan. That either meant the plate was so new the data hadn't been entered yet or so old that it was no longer a valid plate, he said.

When the officer approached the vehicle and attempted to talk to the driver, the man sped off. A short pursuit followed, ending at an apartment complex near 3800 South and 2200 West. Right before the chase ended, the driver crossed the center lane and attempted to hit an approaching police vehicle head-on, McLachlan said.

"Our officer had to take evasive action. The suspect missed by less than 2 feet," he said.

After the vehicle stopped at the apartment complex, the man got out and ran. He was found hiding in a backyard a short time later, McLachlan said.

Ramon Santiago-Gonzales, 35, who police said was found to be in possession of methamphetamine, cocaine and heroin, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of fleeing, aggravated assault on a police officer, three counts of drug possession and other charges.

— Pat Reavy