WEST VALLEY CITY — Police have arrested a man they say is suspected of running over and killing a man on a West Valley street last week after an argument over a dog.
Aaron Hosman, 40, was arrested Saturday evening for investigation of murder and obstruction of justice, according to statement released Sunday by West Valley police.
West Jordan police — one of several agencies involved in the search — spotted Hosman and took him into custody without incident, the release indicated.
Hosman was being booked into the Salt Lake County Jail, West Valley spokesman Sam Johnson said Sunday.
Police believe Hosman deliberately ran over Jeremy Hardman, 47, with his car on Wednesday, killing him. The two had argued when Hardman confronted Hosman for "being rough with a dog," Johnson has said.
After the confrontation, police say Hosman made a U-turn and hit Hardman in a crosswalk at the intersection of 4100 South and 3600 West.
Hosman then fled the scene. His black Lexus was found abandoned in a Taylorsville neighborhood Saturday.
Judy Crocker, Hardman's mother, said that as the days passed following her son's death, she began to fear his case would grow cold.
"I am so glad that this man is off of the streets, I was terrified after the first few days that they weren't going to catch him," Crocker said. "It terrified me at night. I haven't been able to sleep until (Saturday) night when I found out from one of the detectives that they had him in custody."
She's also relieved that Hosman "will not have the chance to hurt anybody else," she said.
"If he would senselessly beat a dog and then turn around and murder another person for calling him out on it, there's no saying where he would have gone from there," Crocker said.
Crocker, who lives in New Harmony, was on vacation when she learned of her son's death. Since then, condolences have poured in from animal lovers around the world.
Since he was a young child, Hardman has been a "best friend" to humans and animals alike, his mother said. After her husband died in Vietnam when their son was just an infant, Crocker raised Hardman as a single mother, always keeping a house full of pets for him, she said.
"We had rats, we had rabbits, we had cats, we had dogs, we had birds, we had hermit crabs. If it lived, he loved it," Crocker said. "We were just best friends his whole life."
The Humane Society of Utah has praised Hardman, calling him a hero. Notes, flowers and cards thanking him for standing up for "man's best friend" mark the intersection where he died, and Crocker said volunteers and their pets have asked to line the entrance to his memorial service once it is scheduled.
"I think that will be a beautiful sight," Crocker said, getting emotional. "My son would be very proud to know that he died a hero."
According to Utah State Court records, Hosman was charged in a hit-and-run crash in 2013. In that incident, charges say Hosman rear-ended another driver in Salt Lake City, then drove off a way before fleeing on foot.
Hosman also was charged with failure to stop at a serious injury accident, a third-degree felony, and driving on a revoked license, class A misdemeanor.
His court history shows a long history of traffic violations. He was most recently charged in April with giving false personal information with the intent of posing as another person, a class A misdemeanor; driving on a revocation, a class C misdemeanor; and failure to register a vehicle, an infraction.
Charging documents say Hosman was pulled over in Woods Cross driving a vehicle with expired plates. When asked for his name, Hosman provided the officer with his brother's information, charges state. When confronted by the officer, Hosman "admitted that he had provided his brother's name because he was afraid to go to jail," charges state.
Hosman's driver's license was revoked at the time, charges state.
An initial court appearance in that case is scheduled for June 23.