KEARNS, Utah, July 25, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — A parole fugitive who fled from Salt Lake City Police is in custody Thursday night after barricading himself in a storage unit in Kearns.
Lt. Manfred Lassig, Unified Police Department, said at the scene that Salt Lake City officers followed the suspect to a storage facility near 5300 South and 4000 West in Kearns. They then requested assistance from Unified Police.
Once inside the facility, the suspect, identified as Luis Torres, got out of his vehicle and made a desperate dash to elude officers before briefly returning to his car and making threats to harm police and himself.
He then ran again and found an unlocked storage unit, in which he barricaded himself.
Lassig said officers fired “pepperball simunitions” (pepper spray projectiles) into Torres’ car so he wouldn’t get back in it.
All the while, a Utah Highway Patrol helicopter hovered over the scene, keeping eyes on Torres and giving officers on the ground a constant stream of information, via radio, as to his location within the facility. The UHP helicopter crew also used the chopper’s public address system to repeatedly advise Torres to surrender.
“There’s only one way in and one way out,” Lassig said. “The suspect barricaded himself in the storage unit for a short period of time. Then we were able to talk him out.
Asked how UPD officers managed to persuade Torres to give himself up, Lassig said, “Basically, we talked to him, reassured him that we weren’t here to hurt him.
“He wanted to talk to his wife, and I guaranteed that he’d be able to talk to his wife when he came out, which happened.”
Lassig alluded to the threats Torres had made against officers and himself and said, “Right now, I’m just glad it ended peacefully.”
Lassig said Salt Lake City PD has been “dealing with him on some issues. He’s a parole fugitive so he’s going back to prison.”
No information was available regarding the original charges against Torres.