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Man accused of assaulting woman arrested after bike chase

By Derick Fox,

2023-05-26

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SALT LAKE CITY ( ABC4 ) – Salt Lake City Police Department arrested a man they called a parole fugitive after he allegedly assaulted a woman and fled police on a bicycle on Wednesday, May 24.

Abdule Rafal, 44, faces several misdemeanor charges including assault, obstruction of justice, failure to stop at the command of police, interference with a peace officer, and drug possession.

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SLCPD officers confronted Rafal while responding to reports of a disturbance between a man and a woman near 1100 West and 200 South in Salt Lake City. During the conversation, police say Rafal lied about his identity and argued with the officers. A press release says Rafal eventually grabbed a bicycle and began “peddling away” in an attempt to flee police.

Another SLCPD officer who happened to be driving the area reportedly spotted Rafal on his bike near 500 South Emery Street and turned on his lights and sirens to stop Rafal. Rafal allegedly refused to stop, prompting a foot pursuit from officers.

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According to the press release, Rafal eventually abandoned the bicycle at Sherwood Park near West Iola Avenue, where officers caught up to him. Charging documents say Rafal resisted officers and refused to listen to police commands while he was being taken into custody.

One officer was reportedly treated by paramedics on scene for minor injuries.

During a search after his arrest, police say officers found a “white crystal substance” identified as methamphetamine as well as a glass pipe.

SLCPD said Rafal was wanted by Adult Probation and Parole for violating a parole agreement. His arrest was also reported to the Utah Attorney General’s Office due to an “unrelated investigation.”

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Police believe Rafal and the 22-year-old woman had a relationship. SLCPD officers worked to connect the woman with victim advocates.

Charges are allegations only. All arrested persons are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

Support for victims and survivors of domestic and intimate partner violence is available 24/7: 1-800-897-LINK (5465). If you or someone else is in immediate danger, or in an emergency, please call 9-1-1 immediately .

Copyright 2023 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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