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Front Page » June 20, 2002 » Local News » Agencies arrest suspects in aggravated burglary case
Published 4,510 days ago

Agencies arrest suspects in aggravated burglary case


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By KAREN BASSO
Staff reporter

During the early morning hours of June 14, police were dispatched to a home in south Price.

The public safety dispatch center broadcast indicated that four male subjects had purportedly broken into a private residence and assaulted a homeowner. The subjects had also allegedly removed property from the dwelling.

Price Police Officers Julie Ori and Shane Henrie along with Carbon County Deputy Tory Christiansen responded to the scene to find the home a wreck and the suspects gone.

According to Price Police Lt. Ed Shook, Deputy Christiansen had suspicion that the suspects may have headed to the hospital to visit a friend.

Law enforcement officers followed up on the lead, found several of the subjects standing outside of the hospital entrance and a chase ensued.

According to Shook, the suspects reportedly ran through the hospital followed by officers. One subject surrendered in the hallway, with the others evading the law enforcement authorities only to be captured inside the building.

Local law enforcement authorities subsequently arrested four suspects from St. George, including two adults and two juveniles.

Shook identified the adults as 21-year-old Thomas Saul Ochoa and 19-year-old Justin Verdale Clark. The two adult suspects were arrested on felony aggravated burglary, felony aggravated assault, misdemeanor theft and criminal mischief charges.

Clark was also arrested on an unlawful possession/use of a controlled substance offense.

The two juveniles detained in connection with the case were Jason Saul Ochoa and Jose Aliel Ledezma, both 17 years old.

The two teenagers were transported to the youth detention center on the same felony level and misdemeanor category charges as the adult subjects.

Ledezma was also detained on an intoxication offense.

After apprehending the four suspects, police officials returned to the scene of the alleged crime to investigate.

According to Shook, the four individuals purportedly arrived at the residence at approximately 5 a.m., demanding entrance into the home. Apparently the 23-year-old Price resident knew the suspects and refused to allow the four to enter the home.

After a brief argument, the suspects reportedly kicked in the door and entered the house, waving knives at the Price man. The indicated that he fought off the attack with a broom.

One of the suspects allegedly threw a knife at the Price resident, hitting the man in the chest, explained Shook. The flat side of the knife made contact with the chest, causing little harm.

The Price man subsequently ran to a neighbor's residence to contact police. The suspects purportedly fled the scene with several items from the home, including a car speaker.

The Price resident had a dog which was apparently on the porch at the time of the incident, added Shook. After the suspects left the scene, the dog was discovered missing.

As the investigation continued, law enforcement personnel searched the suspects' vehicle. Inside, officers found the missing speaker along with suspected drug paraphernalia and a half-eaten corn dog.

At first, the officers thought the corn dog was irrelevant to the case. However, a second corn dog was found at the scene.

It appears the suspects were hungry and had apparently taken the corn dogs from the home during the alleged aggravated burglary and assault incident.

Several days after the incident occurred, the missing dog reappeared with a deep knife wound in its side, pointed out Shook. The dog was examined, treated, and is expected to make a full recovery.

Police are now considering the possibility of referring the suspect responsible for the stabbing to the local criminal prosecutor's office on an additional cruelty to animal charge.

The incident remains under investigation. Although it appears the suspects may have known the Price resident, Shook indicated that the reasons leading to the alleged invasion and attack incident have not been determined.


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