Down to Orem, from American Fork. Then up to Pleasant Grove. Then down to Lindon.

Ernest Hartman, 50, was reportedly all over the place after night had fallen on Utah County on Wednesday, driving more than 100 mph, on the wrong side of the road. He eventually was stopped by a mailbox, fence and tree. Police reports state he had cocaine in his possession when arrested.

Since Hartman had several arrest warrants, he may have been trying to avoid being arrested when he took off in his vehicle just after 11 p.m., American Fork Sgt. Josh Christensen said.

“It’s better to go to jail to go on your warrants than to go on your warrants and (get) a whole bunch of new charges,” Christensen said.

The tree Hartman crashed into was at 20 South and 800 East in Lindon. Police identified drug paraphernalia after the vehicle could no longer start, Christensen said.

The chase started after an American Fork police officer saw Hartman leave a vehicle in an American Fork parking lot and enter into another, black vehicle, which lacked license plates. After the officer turned on police lights, Hartman stopped. But after a police officer was on foot to confront Hartman, Hartman sped away in the vehicle.

“The suspect failed to stop even after receiving visual and audible signals from me,” the police report states.

Hartman ran stop signs along with his rather speedy travel in the wrong direction, police reported.

“[Hartman] turned down a dead end road and flipped around. [Hartman] was then traveling towards me ... [he] veered to go around my vehicle and ran into [the] mailbox, fence and tree,” according to the report.

Police found a glass pipe with burn residue, copper wire inside the pipe and white residue in a bag, indicating to police that Hartman had cocaine, police reports state.

Police found that Hartman’s vehicle’s registration was expired and that Hartman faced multiple warrants, with his license suspended.

Hartman was booked on suspicion of failing to stop or respond at command of police, a third-degree felony; possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; driving with a measurable controlled substance and use or possession of drug paraphernalia, class B misdemeanors; driving on a suspended license and speeding, class C misdemeanors; and expired vehicle registration and not giving to right-of-way, infractions.

Rhett Wilkinson is the crime and courts reporter for the Daily Herald. He can be reached at