Utah skate park hero gets surprise 'pimped out' ride

Thursday , June 26, 2014 - 5:12 PM

Standard Examiner staff

WEST VALLEY CITY — A rogue teen recklessly drove a stolen car through a park full of children to evade police.

One local man decided he was going to take matters into his own hands after watching the car nearly hit several children.

“I just wasn't going to let him get back in there,” Bryson Rowley of Syracuse told the Standard-Examiner. “Who knows what could have been, there’s no price on it.”

Rowley and his family were gathered at a nearby skate park on that day a month ago. They noticed the car speed through the park, which at the time was filled with teens. After the second encounter, Rowley jumped in his truck to try to block the road in an effort to prevent the juvenile driving the car from re-entering the area. But it was not possible. The only way out for the 14-year-old suspect was through the park again, so instinct told Rowley to hit the car.

An estimated $5,000 in repairs to fix his truck were necessary. But he wasn't thinking about his truck at the time. A price can’t be put on a life, but the gratitude he has received since has been “overwhelming“ in a very priceless way.

 Autobody shop owner Bryan Ellison was watching the news that evening when he heard about the recent high speed chase through Syracuse.

“Not many people would do that,” said Ellison, speaking of Rowley, who intentionally crashed his Dodge truck into the stolen car to end the chase.

"He did the right thing,“ said Ellison, who happens to be the co-owner of West Valley Carstar. ”I knew the insurance company would deny him, so I called (around) to find Bryson’s number to tell him I’m fixing his car for free.“

In complete shock, Rowley answered his phone. “It almost felt fake, when they called. It all just felt fake,” said the 2008 Dodge pickup owner who was given a rental to use.

However, word got out about Rowley’s heroic action and he got much more than a free repair. West Valley Carstar repaired all suspension damage that happened during the collision, but several others helped donate parts and their time to pimp-out the truck with all the bells and whistles.

“He’s got new front suspension, differential, and Bilstein shocks that were provided by Diesel Sellerz,” said Lynn Ellison, co-owner of West Valley Carstar and brother to Bryan. “They added a Fusion bumper and a light bar. It’s been detailed, and a new exhaust system on it, brand new tow hooks in the front, and the chip with the fuel system that regulates everything ... his upgrade is close to $15,000.” 

Tuesday, Bryson Rowley arrived at the repair shop in complete disbelief. Without a word, he toured his new ride.

“I’m speechless,” he said, teary-eyed.

His wife, Brandy Rowley, standing nearby shared her memories of the day the high-speed chase occurred.

“All we could think of was ’We've got to keep the kids safe,’” she said, explaining how she tried to gather the kids into the concrete bowl of the skate park.

"(I’m) so thankful, so grateful,” Brandy Rowley said, also full of emotion. “That was a huge burden off of our shoulders. It was just amazing that anybody stood up to help us; it was great.”

Both Ellison brothers agreed that as parents you do all you can to protect your child.

"Just knowing you’re a parent and there are people out there that’ll help — we can’t thank him enough for what he did,” Lynn Ellison said, tears streaming down his face. “It’s the least we could do.”

But the chase has not ended for the Rowley family.

"This whole thing has been extremely scary,” Brandy Rowley said. “The action at the skate park was scary, everything after has been scary. We still don’t know what’s to happen with everything, so we’re still on edge a little.”

Nevertheless, the couple drove away in their buffed and polished truck with bright smiles.

“It was an honor to let us do it,” Bryan Ellison told the Standard-Examiner. “It could have been bad. We did it just to help him for possibility saving a bunch of kids.”

Bryson Rowley mentioned how grateful he is to know that the kids at the park are all OK and hopes that he helped the driver of the car in some way as well.

“I thought I would go to jail, and have a broke truck,” Bryson Rowley said laughing. “It’s awesome, totally unexpected. I can't believe it.”

Contact reporter Morgan Briesmaster at 801-625-4268 or mbriesmaster@standard.net. Follow her on Twitter at @SE_mbriesmaster. Like her Facebook page at http://facebook.com/SEMorganBriesmaster.

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