Photo of suspect vehicle involved in chase through Cache and Rich counties, May 5, 2022. (Courtesy: Utah Department of Public Safety)
LOGAN — A 31-year-old Las Vegas man was arrested after a high speed chase through Cache County late Wednesday night and Thursday morning. Petr Litvinko was booked into the Cache County Jail, following the chase that resulted in SWAT teams being called out to use tear gas near the summit of Logan Canyon, US 89.
According to a statement by the Utah Department of Public Safety, around 9:08 pm, a charcoal gray Mercedes van with Nevada plates was reported to police for erratic driving and flashing its lights behind drivers, on US-89/91 near Wellsville.
The van continued driving erratically and flashing its lights and troopers found it on US-91 near Smithfield and attempted to stop it. The van failed to stop and continued northbound.
DPS said the trooper did not pursue but did follow at a distance to keep an eye on the van. He then noticed the van make a U-turn at the south end of Richmond to come back southbound. He tried to pull over the van once a second time, but it fled again. The van then made another U-turn and continued this behavior for a bit at lower speeds. Once the van reached Smithfield again, troopers stopped following.
Troopers and some other local law enforcement units kept their eyes on the van as it continued southbound into Logan where “the van ran every red light it came to,” according to the statement.
Responding officers then lost sight of the van for a time.
Shortly after, citizen spotted the van and called about it driving recklessly northbound into Logan Canyon, near 1st Dam.
Rich County deputies set up near the county line with spikes. The van was successfully spiked but continued to flee.
A Trooper then made a successful pit maneuver at milepost 494, near Garden City and finally stopped the van.
DPS said Litvinko would not comply with officers’ commands. So a SWAT team responded and deployed tear gas. He was taken into custody at about 2:45 am.
Jail records show Litvinko was booked on suspicion of failing to stop at the command of law enforcement, driving under the influence and other offences.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Cade Brenchley said Litvinko allegedly fled from law enforcement in Salt Lake previously but was never caught.
Individuals arrested and charged in complaints are presumed innocent unless or until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in court.