A driver fled from a traffic stop in Mapleton, then later from Deputies and Officers from several different agencies. He swerved to hit Officers and shots were fired at him by 2 different officers.
PRESS RELEASE OCTOBER 29, 2017: On October 29, 2017, at about 10:18 AM, a Mapleton Police Officer attempted to make a traffic stop on a car for a registration violation. The driver of the car fled and the Mapleton Officer elected not to pursue him. At about 11:06 AM a Deputy with the Utah County Sheriff's Office, unaware of the incident in Mapleton, saw a car parked in a pullout near the entrance to Payson Canyon. That is an area known for illegal activity so the Deputy began to turn, intending to talk to the occupants in the car. He did not have his emergency lights on. The driver of the car drove away at high speed, driving recklessly. Because of the reckless driving the Deputy activated his emergency lights and attempted to stop the car. The driver refused to stop and the Deputy pursued him. The pursuit continued through Payson, into Spanish Fork, and into Springville. Officers with Springville, Spanish Fork, and Mapleton Police Departments, and Deputies with the Utah County Sheriff's Office were involved in trying to stop the suspect vehicle. During this time several other Officers and Deputies attempted to deploy spikes in an effort to stop the car. The suspect driver swerved several times in an obvious effort to hit those who were deploying spikes. When the suspect was in the area of 1400 North West Frontage road he made a U-turn and drive directly at a Springville Officer. That Officer drew his sidearm and fired at the suspect. The suspect then drove north on the south bound I-15 off ramp, made another U-turn, and drove back south and onto south bound I-15. At about this point Deputies and Officers lost contact with the suspect.
Law enforcement had registration information for the car and believed the driver was the registered owner. They used his cell phone information to locate him at about 940 North 600 East in Springville. When they first saw the car there was nobody in it. A short time later the suspect and passenger got back in the car and Officers and Deputies pursued him again. This time a pilot with the Utah County Sheriff's Office was in a fixed with aircraft and was able to maintain visual contact with the suspect car. During both pursuits the suspect reached speeds in excess of 120 MPH. With the airplane involved Officers and Deputies slowed their active pursuit. At about 1:08 PM the suspect stopped behind a business in the area of 950 North 700 East in Spanish Fork. An Officer with the Spanish Fork Police and a Deputy with the Sheriff's Office confronted the suspect there. The suspect then drove directly toward the Spanish Fork Officer, who responded by withdrawing his sidearm and firing at the suspect. The suspect then stopped and surrendered to Officers and Deputies.
The female passenger told Officers and Deputies she had been shot in the head. It appeared that she sustained a gunshot wound to the head when an Officer shot at the suspect in Springville. Her injury did not appear to be life threatening and she was transported to the hospital by ambulance.
The suspect, Michael Charles Rankin, age 40, of Springville, was not injured and was booked into the Utah County Jail on 5 counts of Failure to Respond to Officers Signal to Stop - 3rd degree felony, 4 counts of Reckless Driving - class B misdemeanor, and Expired Registration, No Proof of Insurance, and Speeding. The Officer Involved Shooting Protocol team with the Utah County Attorney's Office is investigating this case. Additional charges may be filed. The passenger is an adult family member of the suspect.
For questions contact Sergeant Spencer Cannon, Public Information Officer, Utah County Sheriff's Office. (801)404-1912. Twitter: SGTCannonPIO