SALT LAKE CITY — A man upset over flights out of Salt Lake City International Airport went on a carjacking spree Friday morning, stealing two different vehicles and causing multiple crashes in Salt Lake and Summit counties.
Police said the incident started at 5 a.m. when the suspect, Joseph Thomas Green, was angry that he was unable to purchase a same-day flight. Officials had earlier claimed that Green's flight had been canceled, but airport officials said he did not have a previous reservation and no flights were canceled.
Green, 20, wanted to book a flight to Denver, Colorado. Upset that he was unable to do so, Green went to the passenger pick-up area at the airport and started a "disorderly conduct situation," according to police, and successfully carjacked an occupied vehicle.
Green drove the stolen car to 919 West 2100 South where he crashed into a small silver car. He then made a U-turn and crashed into a white BMW SUV, police report.
"At that time he tried to get into that person's SUV," explained Bent Weisburg with Salt Lake City police. "The driver of that car, a woman, fought back. Her seatbelt was holding her in the car as he was trying to pull her out of that car trying to steal that car."
Green was unsuccessful in that carjacking and traveled to South Salt Lake in the SUV he stole from the airport.
In the area of 2860 South West Temple, police said Green crashed into another car and nearly hit a building before carjacking a Dodge Durango.
"Then he was successful in stealing another car," Weisburg explained. "At this point that sounds like it was at gunpoint."
After stealing that vehicle, Green got into the eastbound lanes of Interstate 80 where he crashed into five additional cars.
Eventually, the vehicle the man was driving became disabled, DPS explained. Green was unsuccessful in trying to carjack vehicles headed eastbound on I-80.
Green then hit a westbound Toyota Tacoma with a rock and was trying to carjack that vehicle when a Summit County deputy took him into custody.
The owner of the Tacoma took the keys out of the ignition which prevented the carjacking from happening.
DPS reported that for the crashes on I-80, individuals involved in two of the crashes were taken to the hospital with minor injuries. How many people were transported was not made clear.
For the crashes that happened in Salt Lake county, nobody was seriously injured, Weisburg said.
"Just a very bizarre situation," Weisburg said. "And this very quickly escalated."
Green was taken to the hospital for observation and will be booked into the Summit County jail on multiple felony charges, police report.