Manhunt under way after suspect evades cops
Multiple Carbon County law enforcement agencies on Monday continued to look for a single suspect following a high speed chase which began on SR 123 at about 1 a.m. Saturday morning.
The suspect, described as a male of medium height and build wearing jeans and a red hooded sweatshirt, managed to escape capture by fleeing on foot into a wooded area just west of East Carbon.
The incident began when East Carbon Police Officer Shawn Sackett noticed a vehicle driving east toward East Carbon without official plates.
"I observed a vehicle all over the road, didn't have any plates on it, no temp tags. So I initiated a stop on it at approximately mile post 3 on SR 123. I initiated my lights and sirens, the vehicle failed to yield and began to take off," explained Sackett. "Speeds reached as high as 95 miles-per-hour as we traveled through East Carbon via the highway."
According to the East Carbon officer, the vehicle turned off of 123 at high speed and proceeded down a local utility road, know in East Carbon as the "golf course road." Once on the unpaved surface, Sackett reportedly had a much easier time tracking the suspect as all East Carbon officers are equipped with off-road vehicles. Sackett currently patrols in a Hummer Alpha.
"He made it as far as the city's old water treatment plant west of town and was trying to turn around coming back at me when he spun out," said Sackett. "The driver then left the vehicle and ran into the cedars."
Sackett reported that he checked the vehicle at this time and found that the driver's side window had been broken and there were no keys in the ignition.
"The lack of keys led me to believe that the vehicle was definitely stolen, which we later confirmed," said Sackett. "After we ran the VIN we were able to determine that the vehicle came from Extreme Automotive. From what I understand they had recently purchased the vehicle from auction."
The vehicle was identified as a 1986 IROC Z Camaro.
"The vehicle had not been reported stolen prior to the incident, so we were able to get on this case early," said the ECC police officer.
Officer Sackett explained that there were several circumstances which kept him from immediately pursuing the suspect after he fled on foot.
"I didn't have any battery left in my pack set (an officer's mobile radio) so I would not have been able to communicate with dispatch," explained the officer. "I could not see his hands so I didn't know if he was armed and because the vehicle could be started without keys, I didn't feel safe leaving him the opportunity to double back and restart the car."
According to the East Carbon officer, inter-agency cooperation was great concerning this case. Both the Price Police Department and Carbon County Sheriff's Office responded immediately and assisted on the subsequent two hour man hunt.
"Because of the extreme cold it was very difficult to locate any kind of trail," reported East Carbon Chief Sam Leonard. "However, we still beat the brush for the better part of two hours."
The Carbon County Sheriff's Office brought their infrared technology to the search, allowing officers to search a large portion of land in a relatively small amount of time.
According to Sackett, both the East Carbon and Price City police have several leads to follow concerning the missing suspect and while he reported no cause for alarm, he did ask that East Carbon and Sunnyside citizens remain vigilant.
"Please report any unknown individuals or strange behavior," concluded Sackett. "And make sure to keep your cars and homes locked, not necessarily because of this case but for the general safety of you and your family."