Dangerous ‘career criminal’ jailed – law enforcers honored by UPD, city council
Mar 19, 2019 02:12PM
● By Carl Fauver
UPD Taylorsville Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant (L), City Councilman Ernest Burgess (next to Wyant) and Mayor Kristie Overson (R) pose with members of the law enforcement team honored for their arrest of an attempted murder suspect. (Carl Fauver/City Journals)
By Carl Fauver | [email protected]
Taylorsville resident Brock Fenstermaker, 33, has been arrested 18 times since 2006.
Unified Police Department Taylorsville Precinct Chief Tracy Wyant describes him as a “career criminal.”
His most recent, high-profile arrest came just days after Fenstermaker allegedly attempted to deliberately run over a Clearfield City Police officer during a traffic stop.
For their efforts this past Jan. 12, the 13-member law enforcement team that arrested Fenstermaker received a “Team Citation Award” from the UPD Taylorsville Precinct.
The citation reads in part: “Fenstermaker’s actions showed the great lengths he would go in his effort to escape and his extreme danger to the community. His arrest has made Taylorsville City safer for its residents and visitors alike. For their combined actions, these officers should be recognized and commended.”
Before a packed city council audience filled with several of the honored officers’ spouses and loved ones, Wyant first showed infrared air surveillance footage of the chase. The video was shot from the Department of Public Safety helicopter piloted by Kent Harrison.
“Detectives had already developed intelligence telling them the suspect was likely to try to flee when the arrest was attempted,” Harrison said. “I was already in the air when they first tried to stop (Fenstermaker). Tactical Flight Sgt. Rob Wilkinson operated our video camera and other specialized equipment. My job was just to fly where he told me to go.”
Police pursued the vehicle for a time until the suspect entered I-15 at 7200 South, going northbound in the southbound travel lanes.
“We train our officers to never give chase to a vehicle if it could put the public in danger,” Wyant said. “And we certainly suspend all pursuits if a suspect is driving in the wrong direction.”
Wyant said there were no injuries or even any minor vehicle accidents during the course of the pursuit and capture.
“Once the ground pursuit was stopped, we became the only eyes on the suspect vehicle,” Harrison said. “I’ve been flying for law enforcement for more than 20 years. Our surveillance technology has become so sophisticated. It was easy to track the vehicle and tell ground officers where he was.”
During the suspect’s entire attempt to flee by car, he was driving on only three good tires. One had been punctured as he was first leaving when officers attempted to stop him by spiking his tires.
The chase finally came to an end in the Taylorsville Fresh Market (4700 South Redwood Road) parking lot.
“At that point the suspect attempted to flee on foot,” Wyant said. “But after a brief physical struggle, he was taken into custody.”
Although Fenstermaker committed several serious crimes during the pursuit, he was quickly handed over to Davis County authorities, to allow them to pursue the charges related to his alleged attempt to run over an officer in that county.
“This was actually a fairly routine operation for us,” Harrison said. “We’ve had a couple of dozen of these in recent months. But it is nice for law enforcement to be recognized for the job we are doing to keep people safe. Chief Wyant is a pretty progressive fellow. My guess is (one reason the citations were issued to the law enforcement team), he wanted to show the citizens of Taylorsville the work that is being done on their behalf.”
Harrison also noted, DPS helicopters are available to all law enforcement agencies across the state. On average, he said every agency from St. George to Vernal to San Juan County makes use of the helicopters and their pilots about once each year.
“Right now, [DHP has] two helicopters, housed here in the Salt Lake Valley,” Harrison said. “We would like to have more. But like anything else, it is a budget issue.”
Wyant closed his presentation before the city council saying, “I want to convey to the public, there is a lot that goes on every day in law enforcement, particularly when career criminals — who have no regard for public safety — become active. This entire team performed just as they are trained, resulting in the arrest being made as quickly and efficiently as possible.”