2 pursuits in Parowan catch 2 men wanted out of Colorado

ST. GEORGE – Multiple police agencies became involved in two vehicle chases Wednesday that ultimately snagged suspects wanted for crimes out of Colorado.

While out on patrol Wednesday morning, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper attempted to make a vehicle stop in Parowan for a seat belt violation. This turned into a chase as the SUV to be stopped sped off on Main Street to the area of Heritage Park and then down what is known as the “P-hill road” and up into Parowan Canyon, UHP Trooper Steve Esplin said.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers and other police agencies in Iron County engaged in two separate high speed chases that turned out to be connected, as men involved in both incidents turned out to know each other and were both wanted on multiple warrants out of Colorado. The second of the two chases ended when an Iron County deputy rammed the suspect’s truck during an attempted PIT maneuver, Parowan, Utah, Aug. 30, 2017 | Photo by Corey McNeil, Cedar City News / St. George News

Due to heavy rains that had hit the area previously, the road up the canyon was washed out, causing the SUV’s occupants – a male driver and female passenger – to flee on foot across the creek there.

A UHP trooper was on the other side of the creek and the fleeing woman gave up, Esplin said. However, the driver was able to evade law enforcement at the time.

Due to this incident, schools in Parowan were placed on lockdown, according to the Parowan City Police Department Facebook page.

“At this time we do not know why he ran, a confirmed direction of travel or if he is armed,” the Parowan City Police posted. “Due to the unknown circumstances Parowan High and Parowan Elementary have been placed on a level 1 lock down (sic).”

The lockdown was eventually lifted and students were  released from school at regular times.

While the highway patrol, Parowan police and others were searching for the escaped SUV driver, a tip came in from a Parowan resident who said a man had asked to use a phone and called a Colorado number. The man was also driving a Dodge Ram pickup truck.

“We assumed it was the same person,” Esplin said, adding that the tipster provided a description of the man and the truck.

A UHP trooper located the truck near Summit and attempted a stop that triggered a second high-speed chase.

This time the pursuit went north on Interstate 15 up to milepost 82, then turned around on Highway 271 through Paragonah and back into Parowan, Esplin said.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers and other police agencies in Iron County engaged in two separate high speed chases that turned out to be connected, as men involved in both incidents turned out to know each other and were both wanted on multiple warrants out of Colorado, Parowan, Utah, Aug. 30, 2017 | Photo by Corey McNeil, Cedar City News / St. George News

An Iron County Sheriff’s deputy who had joined the pursuit attempted a PIT maneuver to spin out the truck but ultimately ended up crashing the two vehicles instead.

The man in the truck was taken into custody and was discovered not to be the man troopers had pursued that morning. Instead, police learned they actually knew each other and were both wanted out of Colorado on multiple felony warrants.

Evidently the call the man had made earlier was to the man involved in the first chase.

“They were friends and had been communicating,” Esplin said.

In the case of the second man, Esplin said he had been indicted in Colorado on charges related to child sexual abuse.

“He was definitely wanted out of Colorado,” Esplin said.

The Dodge Ram he drove was also reported stolen out of Colorado.

Utah Highway Patrol troopers and other police agencies in Iron County engaged in two separate high speed chases that turned out to be connected, as men involved in both incidents turned out to know each other and were both wanted on multiple warrants out of Colorado, Parowan, Utah, Aug. 30, 2017 | Photo by Corey McNeil, Cedar City News / St. George News

Following the second man’s arrest, the Iron County Sheriff’s Office had the Cedar Communications Center put out a message to area residents to be on the look out for the original man who had evaded police.

Around 45 minutes later another Parowan resident called in saying they had seen someone who matched the description of the first man walking along the roadside.

“He was missing a shoe and looked disoriented,” Esplin said.

The man was taken into custody soon after.

As for the woman, she just seemed “to be there,” Esplin siad, and was willing to tell authorities what she knew about the two men.

Agencies involved in the mayhem of the day included the Utah Highway Patrol, Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Brian Head Marshal’s Office, Parowan City, Enoch City Police and Cedar City Police.

Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

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Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.

 

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