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Charges: Man who witnessed hit-and-run chased down vehicle, attacked driver

WEST JORDAN — Charges were filed this week against a West Jordan man who, after witnessing a teenage driver crash into a fence, allegedly followed in his own vehicle and crashed into the teen before attacking him.

Malcolm Wayne Mcelyea, 51, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with four counts of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; child abuse, a class A misdemeanor; giving false information to a law enforcement officer and reckless driving, both class B misdemeanors; and driving without vehicle registration, an infraction.

Police say a 16-year-old boy was recklessly driving a GMC Yukon belonging to his friend's mother and was speeding when he struck a fence at 8202 S. Galilee Way in West Jordan on Sept. 26, 2015. The boy, who was driving with that 18-year-old friend in the passenger seat, later told police that he fled the scene after crashing into the fence because he wanted to avoid getting in trouble.

"Mcelyea was driving in his Jeep when he saw the incident occur. After seeing the crash, he decided to follow the Yukon and then started ramming it to get it to stop, which caused a horrific crash down the street," according to charging documents.

The Yukon "went airborne" after the Jeep rammed into it, charges state.

"The two teens then got out of the Yukon and started running away. (Mcelyea) caught up to (the driver) and started hitting him and head-butted him twice," charges say.

The 18-year-old Yukon passenger was bleeding from the mouth after the crash, West Jordan police said. He was filming his friend's driving with his phone before the incident and continued to film while Mcelyea allegedly chased them down in his Jeep, court documents say.

The crashed vehicles came to rest in a yard, according to police. Mcelyea allegedly told officers at the scene that the Yukon had also crashed into him before he decided to give chase. Charges say he also told police that the Yukon rammed his vehicle after he began following it. Mcelyea allegedly reported that someone then flashed a gun at him before he ultimately rammed the Yukon.

However, no gun was found on scene and video of the incident recorded by the passenger in the Yukon showed that the vehicle never struck Mcelyea's Jeep, court documents state.

"(Police were) able to determine from the video and evidence of the crash site that (Mcelyea) crossed the wrong side of the street and intentionally impacted the Yukon, causing the accident," charges state. "It was further determined that (Mcelyea's) vehicle hit the Yukon at least four times before the crash."

Mcelyea allegedly admitted to head-butting the 16-year-old driver.

Court records show Mcelyea's criminal history in Utah includes guilty pleas to assault, intoxication and wanton destruction of protected wildlife. He has also been convicted of several misdemeanor traffic offenses. Mcelyea was charged with reckless driving in 2006, but that charge was later dismissed as part of a plea deal.

A warrant for Mcelyea's arrest was issued Wednesday.

Email: blockhart@deseretnews.com

Twitter: benlockhartnews