ST. GEORGE — Two men from Southern Utah were arrested June 25 in Mesquite, Nevada, after police say a K-9 unit detected methamphetamine in their car. Prior to the arrest, one of the men allegedly tried to escape by running across Interstate 15.
According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, the incident began when the two men – Lewis Russell of St. George and Patrick Kelly of Santa Clara – were in a casino where employees called the police because of suspicious activity.
When the officer arrived, he located Russell and Kelly in a car at the casino parking lot. While speaking with the two, the officer allegedly saw drug paraphernalia, and a K-9 unit was called to the scene.
The dog alerted officers to drugs in the vehicle, and the officers reportedly found approximately 11 grams of methamphetamine. When the officer attempted to arrest Russell, police say he fled on foot across I-15.
“He took off on foot, hopped over a little fence and went across all lanes of traffic,” Mesquite Police Sgt. Wyatt Oliver told St. George News. “That’s obviously a real danger, but our officers made sure that they were both as safe as they could be crossing the freeway. An officer was able to catch up to him as they got across the freeway and take him into custody without any other incidents.”
Both individuals were sent to the Clark County Detention Center in Las Vegas. It was later discovered that Russell had a warrant for his arrest out of Utah for driving on a suspended or revoked license and parole violation. He will be extradited to Utah after he is processed.
Oliver added that officer safety is a huge issue, and the officers chasing Russell kept their distance as they were able to maintain vision of the suspect.
“That’s why our officer was pursuing him more slowly just to make sure that he could keep an eye on him and keep himself safe,” he said.
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