CEDAR CITY – Authorities have issued a warning to local police to be on the lookout for two suspects considered armed and dangerous after they allegedly kidnapped a Utah mother and her four daughters and tied them up in a basement in Centerville, Utah.
Local law enforcement agents were warned Wednesday night to be on the lookout for Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, and his son, 22-year-old Dereck James (DJ) Harrison, who are known to have family in the Cedar City area, said Cedar City Police Chief Bob Allinson.
A statewide manhunt for the father and son team appears to be underway as similar warnings were issued to police departments up and down Interstate 15.
The two suspects allegedly lured a mother and her four daughters into a Centerville home, where they were restrained with zip ties and duct tape. They were held at gunpoint and beaten with a baseball bat, police said.
The Centerville house is reportedly owned by DJ Harrison’s grandmother, who lives in Bountiful, a police investigator told several news sources. Investigators said she has not been cooperative with detectives in locating her grandson.
Police said the woman and her daughters, who range in age from 13 to 18, were able to escape and call 911 while the men got away in a silver 2011 Chevrolet Suburban with Wyoming plate AR83G. Police stated the vehicle was abandoned.
According to information on the Centerville Police website, authorities believe the Harrisons were driven to Salt Lake City Tuesday night after they abandoned the Suburban on the Firebreak Road above Farmington.
Police reported they learned the men stayed at a Best Western in North Salt Lake but the suspects were already gone by the time officers arrived.
“We continue to work on locating them and taking them into custody. We have had many citizens of Centerville and Farmington concerned for their families safety and want them to be aware of this new information,” states the information provided on the police website.
Several news sources report that official documents state the Harrison’s family said the men had been heavily using drugs over the last few days.
Flint Harrison’s wife allegedly told police he intends to “shoot any officers and go out in a blaze of glory,” rather than go back to prison,” an arrest affidavit states.
Police believe the men may be armed with a shotgun and other weapons.
Officers said they have intercepted texts from DJ’s relatives saying they will help them evade police and hide them from authorities.
The men may be “hiding in the mountains because they have gear to go deep and hide,” family members told police.
A no-bail arrest warrant was issued for the Harrisons, charging them with five counts each of aggravated kidnapping, a first-degree felony.
Both men are also facing charges of aggravated assault, a third-degree felony; possession of a firearm by a restricted person, a third-degree felony; possession of a controlled substance, a class A misdemeanor; possession of drug paraphernalia, a class B misdemeanor; and three counts of damaging a communication device, a class B misdemeanor.
According to court records, Flint Harrison was charged in 1998 with sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl at a party. He was convicted and appealed. The Utah Supreme Court overturned the conviction in 2001.
Harrison pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted forcible sexual abuse during a re-trial of the case. He was sentenced to nine months in jail and placed on the Utah Sex Offender Registry for 10 years.
Centerville Police have set up a tip line for this incident: 801-335-8844. The public has been asked to call this number or their local police if they happen to come upon these suspects.
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