Cops chase driver
March 18, 2006
Park City police officers arrested a famous skier on Sunday after a car chase through Park Meadows that the police say reached speeds as fast as 50 mph.
The man’s attorney disputes the department’s report and instead claims that police officers were rough with his client when he was arrested.
Lt. Rick Ryan said Jeremy Nobis, 35, was drunk when he led the police on the 20-minute chase starting about 1:40 a.m. on March 12.
Ryan said an officer noticed Nobis driving erratically at the intersection of Park Avenue and Deer Valley Drive. He was following another driver too closely and was ignoring lanes, Ryan said.
An officer tried to stop Nobis, who pulled into the parking lot at the Park Avenue Albertsons and slowed down before accelerating and then fishtailing the 2005 Chevrolet Avalanche he was driving, Ryan said.
He sped out of the parking lot onto Homestake Road and headed toward Park Meadows, traveling on Kearns Boulevard, Monitor Road, Lucky John Drive, Little Kate Road and Racquet Club Drive, Ryan said.
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Nobis struck a tree on the side of the road on Racquet Club Drive, regained control of the Avalanche, returned to Little Kate Road and collided with a police officer’s SUV at the intersection of Little Rate Road and Lucky John Drive, Ryan said. He said the driver side of the Avalanche struck the front fender of the passenger side of the police vehicle.
Nobis tried to run away but the police caught him within a few seconds, Ryan said.
Five officers were involved in the chase, Ryan said.
The police charged Nobis with driving under the influence of alcohol, reckless driving and evading the police.
Ryan said Nobis was alone in the SUV and no injuries were reported.
Ryan said the chase was smart because there was less of a chance that bystanders or other drivers being injured because of the time.
"The officers felt that continuing the pursuit at that time, the safety factor to the citizens and the community was not jeopardized," Ryan said.
He could not recall a similar police pursuit in recent years.
Ned Stone, the lawyer representing Nobis, said his client will plead not guilty to the charges. He claims that there are "significant discrepancies" between the police report and what Nobis says happened.
Stone said, for instance, that Nobis claims not to have reached 50 mph.
During the arrest, Stone said, Nobis struck his head on the ground several times. He said the police had "thrown (him) to the ground."
"I think they used more force than necessary," Stone said.
Nobis lives in Salt Lake City and was in Park City to attend a fundraiser, Stone said. Stone declined to make Nobis available for an interview.
Nobis competed in the 1992 and 1994 Winter Olympics, the U.S. Ski Team said. On its World Wide Web site, Teton Gravity Research, which makes extreme sports movies, said Nobis spent eight years on the Ski Team, was a U.S. champion in 1994 and placed ninth in the giant slalom in the Winter Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway, in 1994.
He likes "skiing fast (super G style) down big Alaskan peaks," the Web site said.