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Orem man charged in chase, struggle with police

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AMERICAN FORK — An Orem man is facing charges after police say he tried to avoid capture by driving off with an officer still hanging from his car window and then ran away while carrying a loaded AR-15.

Erik Sida, 22, was charged in 4th District Court on Tuesday with disarming a police officer, a first-degree felony; two counts of possession of a firearm by a restricted person, one second- and one third-degree felony; failing to respond to an officer’s signal to stop, a third-degree felony; two counts of assault on an officer, a class A misdemeanor; and DUI, operating a vehicle without an ignition device, and leaving the scene of an accident, all class B misdemeanors.

On Sunday, American Fork police stopped Sida’s vehicle for failing to have a license plate and not staying in his lane, according to charging documents. The officers noticed signs of impairment with Sida, who twice gave them a fake name when asked, the charges state.

“Officers asked (Sida) to step out of the vehicle and he refused. (He) locked his doors and rolled up his windows,” according to the charges. “Officers warned him that if he did not exit the vehicle they would break his window and remove him forcefully.”

An officer broke the window out and reached inside to try and turn the car off, “but (Sida) drove away with the officer hanging out of the window. The officer was able to exit the vehicle window, but almost hit a parked police vehicle,” the charges state.

After fleeing in his vehicle, Sida hit a parked car and then got out and ran, according to charging documents.

“Officers could see that he was carrying an AR-15 firearm. (He) ran from police into a field and officers again gave numerous commands to stop. (Sida) tripped over a barbed wire fence and dropped the rifle,” the charges state.

As Sida attempted to pick up the rifle, an officer used his Taser on him.

“The Taser was ineffective and (Sida) fled again,” according to charging documents. “The officer chased and deployed his Taser again and (Sida) tensed up and fell over.”

Sida removed the Taser wires and ended up in a struggle on the ground with the officer, the charges state.

“(Sida) elbowed the officer with his left arm and with his right hand he grabbed the officer’s service weapon,” according to the charges. “(Sida) then began hitting the officer in the back of his head while he continued to try and remove the officer’s service weapon.”

The officer kept both hands on his gun to prevent Sida from taking it, the charges state, until another officer arrived on scene and hit Sida in the head, and then “dry stunned” him until he stopped resisting.

The AR-15 Sida was carrying was determined to have a round in the chamber, the charges state.