What started as a traffic crash ended with the arrest of an Adult Probation and Parole fugitive after a police chase and allegations of multiple assaults on police and emergency medical personnel.
Jason Paul Freeze, 46, was arrested in Millcreek on Monday after police chased him from the scene of a traffic crash.
Freeze is a member of “Soldiers of Aryan Culture,” also known as SAC, which is a white supremacist prison/street gang known for trafficking guns and narcotics along the Wasatch Front and the interstate, a former AP&P agent confirmed to 2News Investigates.
He has a history of drug use, drug possession, distribution, forgery and theft by receiving stolen property, a search of court records shows.
What's more, federal court records reveal Freeze was convicted of robbing a U.S. Bank in Salt Lake City on December 22, 2008. Court records show he entered the bank lobby wearing a dark beanie hat, a sweatshirt with the hood pulled up and his face was painted with a brown substance. Freeze used a note to demand cash which included "bait bills." Later that day, records show a couple believed he'd borrowed their truck to commit the crime because he acted "strange" when he returned it and they found a "brown colored stage-type makeup" in the truck. The bank tellers he victimized picked Freeze from the photo lineup police showed them as the robber.
2News Investigative Reporter Wendy Halloran inquired with Matthew Harris, the United States Marshal for the District of Utah, who confirmed that U.S. Marshals previously arrested Freeze two times prior to Monday's arrest for federal probation violations. The alleged violations included failure to submit to drug testing, failure to abide by the conditions of home confinement, possession of stolen property, possession of drug paraphernalia and failure to pay restitution.
According to an affidavit for his arrest, he was one of two occupants described as "passed out" inside a car that had just gotten into a traffic accident with injuries. A Unified Police officer described arriving at the scene of the crash and seeing Freeze back away, hitting a Unified Fire Authority EMS worker. Another first responder had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit, the affidavit states.
The UPD officer chose to pursue Freeze given that he had "probable cause for aggravated assault against two EMS personnel."
Three UPD officers pursued Freeze from the scene. During the pursuit, he made multiple U-turns and was said to be "driving in a reckless manner." Freeze rammed all three officers' vehicles in his attempt to flee, according to the affidavit.
Police continued following Freeze northbound on Highland Drive and into a parking lot where the road came to a dead end blocked by a fence, the affidavit states. Freeze drove through the fence, "completely damaging it," and kept fleeing until his car stopped because of equipment failure at 495 E. 4500 South in Millcreek.
Freeze hopped out of the vehicle and ran from officers, one of whom "attached" to him to prevent him from fleeing further, according to the affidavit.
"As he was being pulled off of the fence, (Freeze's) elbow swung back and hit another officer in the throat, that officer later went to the hospital for treatment," the affidavit states.
After struggling with Freeze on the ground, officers were able to get his hands out from beneath him and handcuff him.
Officers observed that the license plate on the vehicle Freeze had been driving did not match the vehicle that plate was registered to. They searched his records and found his driver license was suspended, he had multiple warrants for his arrest, and was labeled an AP&P fugitive.
He was booked into jail in Salt Lake County and held on a slew of charges, including aggravated assault, assault against a peace officer, failure to stop at the command of law enforcement, criminal mischief, reckless driving, driving on a suspended license and using plates registered to another vehicle.
The case will be referred to Salt Lake County prosecutors, who will determine which formal charges can be filed.
Individuals are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.