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Police: Officer hospitalized after being hit by car at end of police pursuit

SALT LAKE CITY — An officer was hospitalized Friday evening after being knocked unconscious at the end of a vehicle chase, police said.

The off-duty Unified police officer was responding to a chase in the area of 800 South and 300 East. The officer was on foot when he chased after a man who had fled his car after a vehicle pursuit that began in Taylorsville, said Unified police detective Ken Hansen.

However, the man who was allegedly fleeing police had left his Ford Lincoln in drive, and it continued forward and struck the officer, who hit his head on the windshield and "just kind of tumbled over the car," Hansen said.

The veteran police officer was knocked unconscious and was also nearly pinned between the moving car and a parked vehicle, the detective said. He was taken to a hospital, where he was later reported to be in fair condition.

"He was off duty, but he was trying to do the right thing," Hansen added.

The Lincoln was driving against traffic at the time, he said.

Other officers in the area located the driver behind a building, where they used a Taser to subdue him and then arrested him. He was later identified as 31-year-old Shawn M. Garfield.

About 7:40 p.m., Unified police officers saw the Lincoln parked near 4700 South and 700 West in Taylorsville and recognized that it was a vehicle that had previously been "involved in a theft or … selling stolen property," Hansen said.

Garfield then allegedly rammed into a police car twice after being approached. The ensuing chase, which went through I-15, ultimately ended in the Salt Lake neighborhood where the officer was struck.

Police tried to stop the vehicle with spike strips but were unsuccessful, Hansen said. Speeds allegedly reached about 75 mph on the freeway and ranged between 30 and 60 mph on the surface streets.

Garfield's criminal history in Utah is extensive and is mostly theft-related, according to court records.

Contributing: Andrew Adams, Brianna Bodily