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The City Journals

Uber driver comes to the aid of officer in need

Mar 21, 2019 04:49PM ● By Erin Dixon

Eric Smith with his wife and child were honored at the March 5 Midvale City Council meeting by Unified Police Chief Randy Thomas and Sgt. Mike Lee for aiding Officer Isaac Pace. (Erin Dixon/City Journals)

By Erin Dixon| [email protected]

An Uber rider lost a driver, but Unified Police gained custody of a suspect.

Eric Smith was driving to pick up an Uber customer, when he saw a police officer get into a fight with a resident. Smith circled the block and came back to a barely conscious Officer Isaac Pace, and no suspect. 

Pace was unable to pursue the suspect.

“I was trying to affect an arrest and the suspect didn’t want to go into custody,” Pace said. “We got into a physical altercation...He basically flung backwards on top of me and we both fell backwards and my head hit the concrete and knocked me unconscious. I couldn’t even stand up. I looked like I had Tweety birds going around my head.” 

Smith was nearby, ready to help in any way. 

“He (Pace) asked me to follow the guy, so I went across the curb and into an apartment complex. The [other] cops were showing up by then and I just told them where he was at. He was trying to hide, he wasn’t running anymore,” Smith said.

When Smith was asked if he was nervous about chasing someone who was in a violent mood, he smiled and said, “no.”

“I work for a towing company, we have to deal with angry people daily. Really angry people,” Smith said. 

Pace was treated for a head injury at the hospital after the event. “I did have a concussion but I’m fine,” he said.

Smith thinks it is important to return the care the officers provide residents. “The cops take care of us daily, it’s awesome to return the favor. When one of them is being attacked, I think it’s our civic duty to help them.”

During a city council meeting where Smith was recognized for his efforts, Unified Police Chief Randy Thomas told the city council, “This gentleman standing behind me is a hero in my eyes.”

While Smith was honored by that, he doesn’t consider himself a hero. 

“I don’t think I did anything that amazing. I just pulled up and did it,” Smith said.

After the chase, Smith picked up another Uber customer and went on with his day.