A wave lands a teen in jail


CENTERVILLE Utah (ABC4 Utah) – A simple wave landed a teen in jail.
But a Centerville police officer found the wave odd.

“He seemed nervous,” said Lt. Von Steenblick with Centerville police. “As you work in law enforcement and you do this on a daily basis, you kind of get that sixth sense.”

It turns out the officer’s instincts paid off.

Centerville police released video from the officer’s vehicle as he attempted to get a closer look at the driver who had just waved at him. The dash cam video showed the driver took off.
As the officer chased after him, police soon learned the vehicle was stolen. He notified other law enforcement.

“Units start to filter into the area,” said Lt. Steenblik. “They know the area. They know the main streets.”

And the officer was given the green light to continue chasing.

“Traffic is very light, (it’s a) cold winter night,” said Lt. Steenblik.

Police said the 17-year old driver from Magna wouldn’t stop and was clocked at speeds of over 80 miles an hour.  He then blows a tire but police said that didn’t stop him.

“(A) UHP trooper had set up on the frontage road and 200 west in Farmington to deploy spikes,” said Lt. Steenblik.

But the teen swerved and missed the spikes and kept driving. He ended up crashing through a metal gate that led to nowhere.

“(He) slid off into the snow and came to a stop,” said Lt. Steenblik. “He bailed out.”

On the video recording police cautiously  approached the vehicle with guns drawn.

“Here we need to be very cautious and careful,” said Lt. Steenblik. “We don’t know if there’s anybody else in the car.  We don’t want to get ambushed.”

But no one else is inside.

“We had a Layton canine tracking dog come in and started to track,” said the lieutenant. “Between the footprints in the snow and the dog we located a 17-year old  juvenile hiding off the lagoon trial by the crick.”

He wasn’t injured but police said he was wet and cold and perhaps wished he had never waved in the first place.

“The bad guys think they can come up here and aren’t going to be noticed but we keep a close eye on things,” said Lt. Steenblik.

The teen was booked into a juvenile detention center.  Police said he could be facing felony charges of being in possession of a stolen car and evading police.

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