Payson man faces kidnapping and assault charges for 2nd time in 2 years after fleeing police at crash site

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UTAH COUNTY, Utah (ABC4 News) – A Payson man on parole is now facing aggravated kidnapping and assault charges for targeting law enforcement for the 2nd time in two years after fleeing from police while stopped at a crash scene.

According to a press release issued by Utah County Sheriff’s Office Sgt. Spencer Cannon, deputies were called to a motorcycle crash on Sunday at about 5:45 p.m in Payson Canyon on the main road near the turnoff to Pete Winward Reservoir. 

Two Payson Officers responded to assist deputies and the road was partially blocked, allowing one direction of traffic through at a time.  A deputy was holding traffic and talking to a couple in a car when the driver took off.

The deputy had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit by the car as the driver fled, Sgt. Cannon said.

Cannon said a Payson Police sergeant was also in the path of the driver and had to run to avoid being hit. 

Another deputy near the mouth of Payson Canyon attempted to get the driver to stop.  Cannon said that deputy noticed the passenger side door of the car open several times when the driver slowed, and it appeared that the female passenger was trying to get out of the car.

At some point, Sgt. Cannon said she was able to jump out of the vehicle as it was moving. She sustained serious injuries and later told deputies she asked the driver to let her out but he would slow down then accelerate and laugh at her, according to the press release. 

The driver was identified as Nicholas “Nick” Gene King, 42. Deputies found King a short time hiding under a flatbed trailer.

King has an extensive criminal record with convictions for drug possession, weapon violations, traffic citations, theft, and at least four previous incidents where he fled from law enforcement. 

Two years before, on July 24, 2017, deputies encountered King in Payson, where he fled from them.  King had two passengers he would not let out of the car. He was later convicted and sent to prison.

He spent 1 1/2 years incarcerated before being released early in March 2019 for completing the HOPE program, which “teaches offenders to live clean, sober, positive and productive lives, and leave prison with confidence in their ability to successfully complete their paroles and go on to live successful, law-abiding, ‘clean and sober’ lives of recovery”.

King was booked into the Utah County Jail on 18 new charges including aggravated kidnapping, aggravated assault targeting law enforcement-two counts, aggravated assault with serious injury, possession of a stolen vehicle, failure to respond to officer’s signal to stop, DUI, reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance and drug paraphernalia, and driving with a denied license.

A judge has set bail for King at $100,000.00.

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