A man angry about his flight being canceled at the Salt Lake City International Airport early Friday carjacked two cars and tried to steal two more, then hit several vehicles in Salt Lake and Summit counties before he was taken into custody, police say.
The wild morning began about 5 a.m. when Salt Lake police received information about a 20-year-old man who became combative at the airport after becoming upset that his flight to Denver had been canceled, said Salt Lake police spokesman Brent Weisberg.
"As our officers were heading to the scene, they learned that the passenger had actually left the area and had carjacked someone at the airport," he said.
The man left the area in the stolen vehicle and crashed into another vehicle near the intersection of 900 West and 2100 South, according to Weisberg. The man then made a U-turn and allegedly crashed into a second car.
The man then tried to steal an SUV and the female driver, who was wearing a seat belt, pushed the man away and told him to get away from her as he tried to pull her from her seat, Weisberg said. He gave up and took off in the car he had taken at the airport.
Police say the man then got onto the freeway toward South Salt Lake, where he hit another vehicle and "nearly" crashed into a building at 2860 S. West Temple.
Salt Lake police initially reported the man used a gun during that carjacking, but in a later update they said they were "working to determine whether (the man) used a firearm during this carjacking."
The man drove the Dodge Durango east on I-80 and is accused of causing five crashes, including two driving up Parleys Canyon — one was a rollover near Parleys Summit and the next crash happened about 2 miles away. Two people were taken to hospitals with injuries that did not appear to be life-threatening, said Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cameron Roden.
After the stolen vehicle was disabled in the fifth crash, the man tried to carjack more vehicles on the eastbound side of traffic, Roden said, but he was unsuccessful in those efforts. The man then tried to go into the westbound lanes, "throwing rocks" and hitting a truck.
The vehicle stopped and the driver got out of the pickup truck, according to Roden. The owner had removed the keys from the ignition, which prevented the man from taking it.
Two Summit County sheriff's deputies arrived and pulled the man from the pickup and safely took him into custody about 6:15 a.m., Salt Lake police said. He was taken to a hospital for observation, and police say he will later be booked into the Summit County Jail for investigation of multiple charges related to the events.
The man is being investigated for impairment as a factor in the incident, according to the UHP.
The driver was identified later Friday as John Joseph Thomas Green. Police said they believe he is not from Utah.
This story will be updated.