Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

March 13, 2014
Grantsville man pleads guilty to fleeing from officers

A Grantsville man has pleaded guilty to running from police in an October incident.

Eric Niesporek, 20, pleaded guilty to one count of failure to stop or respond at the command of police, a third-degree felony, and failure to stop or respond at the command of law enforcement, a class A misdemeanor, Tuesday in 3rd District Court.

On Oct. 27, officers from the Grantsville City Police Department responded to a report of a vehicle driving suspiciously near 200 S. Willow Street. When an officer tried to pull the van over, the van sped away, reaching speeds of about 50 mph in a 30 mph zone.

After running two stop signs, the van slowed, and the officer said he saw a woman jump out of the passenger side of the van and run east through a field. The van continued to slow, and Niesporek jumped out of the driver’s seat of the van and ran north, allowing the vehicle to drive into a wooden gate.

The officer, too, jumped out of his vehicle and followed Niesporek, using his Taser as a light. When he caught up to Niesporek, trying to climb over a barbed wire fence, he tried to grab Niesporek and the two tumbled to the ground.

The officer tried to arrest Niesporek, but Niesporek rolled over and tried to grab the officer’s Taser, which had been knocked aside in the struggle.

Niesporek ran away from the officer, taking the Taser with him. Evidence in the van later led officers to arrest Niesporek.

Officers also arrested the female passenger, Shantelle Valarde, 24, Grantsville, but no charges were filed against her.

As part of Niesporek’s plea agreement, in exchange for pleading guilty to the two failure to respond charges, three other charges — disarming a police officer of an energy device, a third-degree felony; assault against a police officer, a class A misdemeanor; and interference with an arresting officer, a class B misdemeanor — were dismissed.

Niesporek will be sentenced on April 22. 

Lisa Christensen

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Lisa covers primarily crime and courts, military affairs, Stansbury Park government and transportation issues. She is a graduate of Utah State University, where she double-majored in journalism and music, and Grantsville High School.

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