Second police chase for Ogden man

Jul 22 2010 - 12:09am

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Macfarlane
Macfarlane

The suspect who police say ran stop signs, crossed medians and forced people off the road while being chased across three counties Tuesday is charged with doing the same thing 11 days earlier, just on a smaller scale.

In fact, Mantua Police Chief Jim Jones, after chasing Chris Macfarlane north to Wellsville and then south all the way back to Ogden, found Macfarlane's DUI citation in his pocket for the July 9 adventure in Ogden.

Macfarlane, 57, of Ogden, is charged with driving under the influence and reckless driving from that day after meandering through traffic from 12th Street and Wall Avenue to 24th Street and Van Buren Avenue.

"He was spinning out in the roadway, running red lights, going into oncoming traffic," Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Cameron Roden said of the July 9 incident.

No injuries were reported. Macfarlane did comply with troopers' commands to stop, according to reports, and was arrested at 24th and Van Buren. He has been arraigned on those charges in Ogden City Justice Court with a July 27 status conference pending.

Tuesday's chase reached speeds of 100 mph and probably torched the brakes on Jones' 2007 Chevy truck.

"They may be fried, the rotors are definitely warped," said the chief of the three-man department.

"Pickups aren't very good pursuit vehicles."

He had to give up the chase around Brigham City as Macfarlane sped south. But by that time UHP troopers and officers from Brigham City, Perry, Willard and the Weber County Sheriff's Office were involved in the chase.

Macfarlane was finally corralled on Ogden's 12th Street in front of Jeremiah's Restaurant, at 1307 West, about 1:15 p.m. A Box Elder County UHP Trooper used "pit," or police intervention technique, to nudge Macfarlane's 1999 Nissan Altima out of control and off the side of the road.

Despite uncounted numbers of drivers forced off the road by Macfarlane, no injuries have been reported as a result of the chase, according to police.

At one point Macfarlane drove south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 15 for almost nine miles between Willard and Pleasant View at speeds up to 90 mph.

"I will be notifying the county attorneys in all three counties," Jones said Wednesday afternoon. "I'm still waiting on reports from about 15 different people from yesterday (Tuesday)."

While felonies were committed in Cache, Box Elder and Weber counties, Jones and UHP officials said the case will likely be charged and filed in 1st District Court in Box Elder County as a single, continuing criminal episode.

But the prosecutors have jurisdiction to file charges in all three counties. "They may, they could," Jones said. "We'll let them figure it out."

Jones said Macfarlane was not exactly talkative upon arrest. "I did ask him, 'Where were you going?' 'I was going to the Maverik to get a drink' was the only thing he told me."

Macfarlane refused to take a Breathalyzer test, Jones said, and by law officers can get a court order to force a blood test on a suspect only in the event of serious injury.

But with all the witnesses, and Macfarlane's erratic driving, Jones said, "I don't foresee having a problem convicting this guy of drunk driving."

The recent incidents are just the latest in a criminal record of Macfarlane's drunkenness dating back to 1999, court records show, including a prison term in 2002 for a DUI in Ogden, at least his third DUI conviction.

Reporter Jessica Miller contributed to this report.

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