Criminal charges were filed Tuesday against a Woods Cross police officer, accusing him of “charging” toward a truck with two men inside that was trying to get away from him and firing four shots. No one was hit and the officer has since been fired. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)
WOODS CROSS — A Woods Cross police officer accused of firing several rounds at a vehicle driving away from him now faces two felony criminal charges.
Joshua John Lindsey, 39, of Kaysville — who was fired from the department — was charged Tuesday in 2nd District Court with two counts of aggravated assault, which is a third-degree felony.
On Feb. 7, in a car lot near 1650 W. 500 South in Woods Cross, Lindsey was “charging” toward a truck with two men inside that was trying to get away from him, according to charging documents. While doing so, he fired four shots, the charges state.
“Fortunately for all concerned, (Lindsey’s) shots hit the vehicle and missed the victims inside,” the charges say.
The officer said he felt like his life was in danger, according to a police affidavit.
The two men in the truck, Julian Nordahl, 26, and Tucker Riggs, 28, were arrested. But according to state court records, only Nordahl was charged. He was charged with two counts of theft by receiving stolen property, a second-degree felony. On Aug. 17, Nordahl pleaded guilty to one amended count of attempted theft by deception, a third-degree felony. He is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 5.
According to Nordahl’s charging documents, a Wood Cross officer spotted Nordahl’s truck in a car lot and “attempted to stop the truck because it appeared suspicious.” Court documents do not indicate what Nordahl was doing that made his vehicle appear suspicious. A police booking affidavit further states that during Lindsey’s interaction with Nordahl, he “felt that his life was in imminent danger and fired shots at the vehicle before the vehicle fled from officers.”
Nordahl sped away and was later located by a second officer who attempted to stop the vehicle, the charges state.
“(Nordahl) ignored audible and visual commands to stop and attempted (to) elude police from Woods Cross to West Valley City,” according to charging documents.
The chase ended when police say Nordahl attempted to drive through a chain-link fence to escape, but his truck became stuck. After his arrest, investigators learned that the truck was stolen, the charges state. A gun that belonged to the truck’s owner was also found in the vehicle.
Both Nordahl and Riggs were originally booked into the Davis County Jail for investigation of attempted murder of a police officer.
An internal investigation found Lindsey’s use of deadly force did not meet with department policy, which restricts officers from shooting at moving vehicles, and he was fired, according to a report from KUTV.
The Davis County Attorney’s Office declined comment Tuesday on the charges. The Woods Cross Police Department did not immediately return a call by KSL.com for comment.