Docs: Utah fugitive in stolen BMW throws gun, drugs out window in long, slow-speed chase

Willie Tuamoheloa mug.png
Willie Dean Tuamoheloa mugshot. (Salt Lake County Jail)

A Utah man is facing four felony charges after police say he led them on a slow-speed chase throughout the Salt Lake Valley early Saturday morning.

According to the Unified Police Department, at approximately 12:30 a.m. near 4800 S. Erin Lane in Taylorsville, officers noticed a stolen black BMW X3 that was also on their "hot sheet" of known stolen vehicles. The vehicle was being driven by 32-year-old Willie Dean Tuamoheloa. There was also a female passenger inside.

Police also say the area is a place where they often find stolen vehicles.

The BMW also had temporary tags which belonged to a Vespa scooter.

Police turned on their lights and sirens, attempting to pull Tuamoheloa, but he fled.

The chase went on throughout the valley, police say, but the chase remained at slow speeds, roughly 40 miles per hour.

That's because police were able to spike multiple tires, but Tuamoheloa kept on fleeing.

During the chase, Tuamoheloa tossed a backpack out of the window. Inside was a Glock handgun with multiple magazines and ammunition, as well as numerous baggies of methamphetamine, packaging material and a scale, all consistent with drug distribution, police say.

Eventually, near 900 South and 1500 West in Salt Lake City, Tuamoheloa pulled over and fled on foot, but was tracked down by a K9 unit.

Tuamoheloa was a fugitive from his probation with Adult Probation & Parole (AP&P) for weapons possession. Tuamoheloa is a category one restricted person and is not allowed to possess any firearms.

The female passenger was detained, but not booked or charged.

Tuamoheloa faces the following felonies:

  • Receive or transfer of a stolen vehicle, a second-degree felony
  • Possession with intent to distribute, a second-degree felony
  • Failure to stop at the command of police, a third-degree felony
  • Possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person, a second-degree felony