ST. GEORGE — A local man was arrested by Hurricane Police Sunday, one day after an alleged assault reported at a gas station in Washington City triggered a pursuit in which the suspect initially evaded capture.
The incident that prompted the arrest began on Saturday when officers were called to a disturbance at a gas station after an alleged assault took place between two individuals, Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News.
When officers arrived, however, the suspect who allegedly assaulted the other man had already fled the scene in the blue Volkswagen passenger car with temporary tags, according to information provided to police from witnesses at the scene.
While police were scouring the area in search of the suspect’s vehicle, the Volkswagen was spotted heading east on Telegraph Street by an officer traveling in the opposite direction on the same road.
The officer made a U-turn, and when he got behind the vehicle, the report states, the suspect turned left onto 100 West heading north, which is when the officer engaged his lights to stop the car. The driver failed to stop, however, and instead continued north behind a slower-moving car. Once the lead vehicle pulled over, the suspect sped away from the officer, according to charging documents filed with the court.
The officer pursued the car with his sirens activated as the suspect turned onto 200 North, accelerated and began driving erratically, crossing over into oncoming traffic lanes and blowing through yield signs without waiting for traffic. As the suspect continued fleeing from police at more than 90 mph, a broadcast was sent out to officers in the area to be on the lookout for the car.
Once the suspect blew through a stop sign turning right onto Telegraph, the officer dropped off since two other Washington City Officers were pursuing the car at that point. Minutes later, the pursuit was called off near Green Springs Drive due to public safety concerns.
Meanwhile, a vehicle matching the suspect’s car was found abandoned by police in St. George, with a driver who was no longer at the scene — information that was relayed to officers in Washington City.
Officers were able to confirm it was the suspect’s car using a dashcam video captured during the pursuit that was downloaded and collected as evidence.
Shortly after 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Hurricane Police Officers responded to Walmart on 3400 West on a report that a suspect was in the parking lot that matched the description of the driver who evaded police in Washington City the previous day.
Officers arrived and spoke to the suspect, later identified as Laithon Dallas Webb, 26, of Hurricane, who “refused to speak about the incident,” the officer noted in the arrest report.
When officers reviewed the Walmart surveillance footage, the individual who got in the driver’s seat of the vehicle allegedly matched the description of the suspect that was involved in the pursuit in Washington City.
The suspect was arrested by officers in Hurricane for driving on a suspended license and was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility and booked on the driving offense. Shortly thereafter, additional charges, including third-degree felony evading and misdemeanor reckless driving and driving on a revoked license, were added. The suspect is also placed on a 72-hour probation hold.
This is the second pursuit that began in Washington City. Early Friday morning, a vehicle crash set in motion a series of pursuits that continued through two jurisdictions as officers continue searching for the suspect allegedly responsible for stealing as many as four vehicles. That suspect remains at large.
Webb is scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court Wednesday and is being held on $6,020 bail once the probation hold expires.
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