SALT LAKE CITY — Police said a man was so irate after his flight was canceled that he went on a crime spree, carjacking two vehicles, attempting to carjack two others, and crashing into more than seven vehicles.
The Salt Lake City Police Department said its investigation began at 5 a.m. Friday when officers were called to the airport for a report of an upset passenger at the ticket counter. The passenger, identified as John Joseph Thomas Green, is accused of causing a disruption at the counter after his flight was canceled.
Airport officials told KSTU that Green did not have a reservation and that he had arrived at the airport wanting to book a flight to Denver. Green became upset when he was unable to do so.
“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,” Salt Lake Police Department spokesman Brent Weisberg told KSL-TV.
Police said that Green found an occupied vehicle in the airport’s passenger pickup area and stole it after forcing the driver out. Police said Green then drove the stolen SUV for approximately 9 miles before he crashed into a small silver car. After crashing into the car, Green allegedly did a U-turn and then crashed into a white BMW SUV.
Officers said Green then got out of the SUV he stole at the airport and tried to force the female driver out of the BMW SUV. The woman fought back, and her seat belt kept her in the car.
“Just a very bizarre situation,” Weisberg told KSL-TV. “And this quickly escalated.”
Green then allegedly returned to the original stolen SUV and continued driving eastbound toward South Salt Lake, police said in a news release. Green then crashed into a car, exited the stolen SUV, and carjacked a Dodge Durango. Police said that officers are working to determine whether Green used a firearm during the carjacking.
Police said that once in the Durango, Green drove onto Interstate 80 going east. The Utah Highway Patrol confirmed he crashed into five vehicles while on I-80.
Deputies with the Summit County Sheriff’s Office were investigating one of the crashes on I-80 when they heard the suspect throwing rocks at passing cars on the highway in an attempt to get drivers to stop, police said. Then, deputies reported seeing the suspect “actively trying to carjack a fourth car — a Toyota Tacoma — along I-80.”
The owner of the Toyota removed the keys from the ignition, stopping the suspect from taking it. Deputies then pulled Green from the vehicle and took him into custody, police said.
Green was taken to the Summit County jail on multiple felony charges.
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