SWAT team captures armed man in standoff
The Carbon County Sheriff's SWAT team captured an armed suspect who had been holding off police for six hours Thursday at the old Green River missile site.
The man had pulled off at the base around noon and parked after a wild chase through Green River on I-70 that reportedly exceeded 100 mph.
From then on, officers from Grand, Emery and Carbon counties surrounded the vehicle and began the long wait.
During the standoff, the man alternately put a pistol to his head, fired rounds into the air, and swigged on a bottle of vodka, according to Sheriff James Cordova. At one point the man was seen tossing money into the air.
Shortly after 6 p.m., the suspect appeared to have fallen asleep or passed out in his car.
After clearing their approach plan with incident commander Jim Nyland, Sheriff of Grand County, the Carbon team warily approached the vehicle, using the limited cover and concealment available to avoid being seen.
When the moment came, the SWAT members jerked open the door, seized the man and two handguns and cuffed him.
"I don't think he knew what hit him," Sheriff Cordova said.
The handguns were apparently .40 caliber and 9 mm models.
The suspect was taken to Grand County Jail and booked.
He was from out of state and was apparently driving a vehicle that had been reported stolen in Pennsylvania.
Carbon SWAT involvement began after the chase ended at the missile site. Lawmen discovered that the suspect was armed and they called for backup.
Cordova said he got the request at about 12:30 p.m., and by 1 p.m. nine members of the Carbon SWAT team were en route.
At the scene, the sheriff said the team counted more than 50 shots fired into the air by the man during the long wait.
Cordova said the combined law enforcement team showed patience and judgment in holding off. Snipers from the Carbon and Emery teams had been deployed, but the objective was to keep the suspect alive and avoid either suicide or "suicide by cop."