Officer heroically leaps from overpass while chasing suspect

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SALT LAKE CITY (KTSU) -- A Salt Lake City Police Officer making a daring attempt to stop a suspect jumped from the I-15 freeway overpass over North Temple Wednesday and suffered serious injury.

"My understanding is it was somewhere between 20 and 25 feet," said Detective Greg Wilking, describing the fall his fellow officer with the Salt Lake City Police Department had taken.

Police had pulled over a Honda Civic, suspected to be stolen, near 200 South and 700 West. The suspect ran, making his way up onto the freeway before taking a drastic step to try to get away.

"My understanding is the suspect jumping off the overpass was able to jump on and grab a hold of a tree and shimmy down that tree," Wilking said. "Our officer attempted the same maneuver and was unsuccessful."

The officer, who has not been identified, was found on the ground in serious condition. He was conscious and breathing when he was taken to the hospital. His injuries have since been described as not being life-threatening.

A massive search, involving multiple agencies and several K9 units began in the area, starting just south of North Temple near the overpass where the officer fell. The hunt ended when the suspect was found hiding in the Citifront Apartment complex on North Temple.

The suspect was later identified as 20-year-old Jesser Cardina-Videa. Police said he was booked into jail for fleeing and resisting arrest as well as for two existing felony warrants.

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