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Suspects of late-night street race arrested and charged

Jan Kopřiva

Seven people were arrested Saturday morning following a street racing event that took place in Salt Lake City late Friday night.

According to arrest documents, the street race was shut down by officers in a joint operation just before midnight. Officers of the Utah Highway Patrol, the Utah State Bureau of Investigation, and Salt Lake City Police all worked together to put a stop to the street race where it was reported at “dozens of vehicles” were partaking in the event.

Six suspects were taken into custody after being pulled over and after being positively identified. 20-year-old Jose Manuel Garcia, 20-year-old Gustavo Mendez, 23-year-old Jonathan Laguna, 22-year-old Erric Balderas, 23-year-old Cristopher Luna, and 45-year-old Thomas Madsen were the suspects in question.

A seventh suspect, 29-year-old Jean Bernier, attempted to flee from the area only to hit another vehicle after pulling out of a parking lot. During his attempt to flee, Bernier drove around pedestrians and nearly hit officers outside of their vehicles before Bernier lost control of the vehicle and crashed into a concrete business sign. Bernier’s car had two passengers in it who were evaluated by first responders that arrived on the scene.

While in custody, Bernier admitted to having smoked marijuana and cops later found both marijuana and alcohol in the car’s center console.

The first six suspects of the street race were booked into the Salt Lake County Jail with a bail of $500 each. They’re all being charged with the crime of performing a speed contest or exhibition on a highway.

Bernier on the other hand, is being booked for several different crimes with a bail of $5,000. His crimes include reckless driving, possession of a controlled substance, drinking alcohol in a vehicle, driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, accident involving property damage, and failure to stop at command of police.

Jared Gereau is pursuing a Journalism major with an emphasis in Social Media at Utah State University. He is planning on using his experience to pursue a career with USU Athletics sometime after he graduates. In his free time, Jared enjoys watching movies, playing games and creating content for his YouTube channel.