ST. GEORGE — A Hildale man is in custody after allegedly driving off during a traffic stop while an officer’s arm was in the vehicle.
Ezra Jessop Barlow, 36, was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he is being held on a felony evading offense that allegedly took place in Mohave County, Arizona, Friday afternoon.
Hours before the arrest, a Mohave County Sheriff’s deputy initiated a traffic stop on a vehicle near Colorado City. As the deputy reached into the vehicle to turn it off, the driver, later identified as Barlow, hit the gas and sped away with the deputy’s arm still extended into the car, Colorado City Police Chief Mark Askerlund said.
The deputy was dragged “a few feet or so,” Askerlund said, until he was able to free his arm from the moving vehicle, suffering cuts and bruises in the process.
The Colorado City Marshal’s Office assisted in the search for the suspect, Askerlund said, noting that the investigation is being handled by the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office.
Barlow was located several hours later and taken into custody.
This isn’t Barlow’s first brush with the law. In January, he was allegedly involved in a pursuit with police in Hildale that began when an officer spotted a car matching the description of a vehicle reported stolen several hours earlier, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of his arrest at that time.
As the officer was making a U-turn to conduct a traffic stop, the car “immediately sped away,” police noted in the statement. The officer activated lights and sirens and began pursuing the vehicle.
The driver allegedly continued evading the officer by making a series of rapid turns until the high-speed pursuit was terminated due to safety concerns.
The vehicle was found abandoned minutes later behind a residence in Colorado City that was less than a block from where the suspect resides.
Barlow was found at his residence and was searched prior to being transported to the police station for questioning. Officers allegedly found an ounce of what appeared to be methamphetamine and “hundreds of dollars in three different pockets in small bundles consistent with distribution of illicit drugs.”
During a search of the residence, officers also allegedly found scales and other evidence related to drug sales.
Barlow was then transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility where he was charged with two third-degree felonies, including failing to stop or respond at command of police and possession of a controlled substance. He was also charged with theft of mislaid/lost/mistaken property, driving on a denied license and three counts of use or possession of drug paraphernalia, each a misdemeanor.
This report is based on preliminary information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. 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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