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Man with cocked weapon arrested after ramming patrol car, police say

SHARE Man with cocked weapon arrested after ramming patrol car, police say
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The Oxbow Jail in South Salt Lake is pictured on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021.

Spenser Heaps, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — A man with multiple warrants out for his arrest in both Utah and Texas was taken into custody safely Tuesday after a series of events that could have easily turned into a police shooting.

The incident began about 11:30 a.m. near 3700 S. Redwood Road. Officers who were on an unrelated call noticed a Dodge Caravan at a nearby storage facility that had been reported as stolen, said West Valley police spokeswoman Roxeanne Vainuku.

As police approached, a woman came out of a storage unit and yelled at David Acosta, who was in the driver's seat, to flee, Vainuku said.

Acosta “accelerated and struck the officer’s vehicle with such force that he drove over the front right quarter panel and both of his driver’s side tires came off the ground,” she said.

Acosta’s stolen vehicle became disabled after driving onto the officer’s hood, a police affidavit states.

Acosta then exited the vehicle and ran. As officers were chasing him, “he was observed by the other officers reaching into his waistband,” according to the affidavit.

It was later determined that Acosta had a fully loaded .22 revolver in his waistband “with the hammer pulled back and ready to fire,” police wrote in the affidavit.

The officers were able to catch up with Acosta and arrest him. Vainuku credited the training the officers receive “and the high level of restraint and sound judgment” they showed for the incident not ending in a police shooting.

Acosta, 25, was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail for investigation of assault on a police officer, possession of a firearm by a restricted person, and two counts of failing to stop for police.

The woman, Celina Garcia, 25, also tried to run and was arrested. Officers reported that she was carrying multiple drugs and items of drug paraphernalia and a knife. She was booked into jail for investigation of seven counts of drug possession, failing to stop for police, possession of drug paraphernalia, and unlawful possession of a dangerous weapon.

Both Acosta and Garcia have outstanding warrants in Texas, police say.