EMERY COUNTY, Utah, July 11, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — Emery County Sheriff’s officials have a suspect in custody after they issued an alert and asked for the public’s help in spotting a man who got away from them early Thursday morning.
The suspect has been identified as 34-year-old Jabarri Sekou Mugabe Hunter from California. He is currently being held at the Emery County Jail pending formal charges.
“This man has fled from ECSO deputies,” said a notice posted on social media at 4:45 a.m. “He was last seen on foot near the car wash in Castle Dale (East Main Street).”
Images were shared were also shared from a Maverik surveillance camera.
“If you see this man, call 911 immediately,” the notice said. “Do not approach him. The suspect was driving a stolen vehicle out of Colorado, which he abandoned. He then stole a vehicle in Castle Dale, which he wrecked.”
Emery County residents were notified by a “mass alert” system to keep their homes and vehicles locked, the statement said.
Thursday evening at approximately 9:30 p.m., Emery County officials posted an update on Facebook entitled: “And now the rest of the story.”
“Around 1:45 a.m. Thursday, a clerk from Maverik in Castle Dale reported that a man had entered the store carrying a gas can,” the post said. “He asked for $2 for gas money. When the clerk refused, the man left. He then ran out of gas a couple of blocks down the road. He walked back to Maverik and offered to sell the clerk his sunglasses and earrings for gas money.”
The clerk offered to call the Emery County Sheriff’s Office for help with gas, at which time the man declined and left, the post said.
The clerk deemed this as suspicious behavior and called ECSO Dispatch Center.
“Deputy Kurt Price and Deputy Keaton Cowley responded to the vehicle located near Family Dollar,” the post said. “There was no one in the vehicle. After running the plates, it was discovered that the vehicle was listed as stolen out of Colorado. In the meantime, the man stole a truck from Grant Automotive.”
Deputies pursued him in the east end of Castle Dale, crossing through the ball fields and rodeo grounds several times. The man eventually crashed the truck into a dumpster at the apartments near the car wash and fled on foot, the post said.
“Deputy Price pursued the suspect on foot, and Deputy Cowley pursued in his patrol vehicle,” the post said. “Additional patrol was called out and the search continued in the dark in a several block radius in Castle Dale. Deputies checked parked vehicles and buildings with open doors.”
After daylight, Sheriff Greg Funk, along with deputies, searched the former Christmas tree farm on the east end of Castle Dale. They located tracks and followed them to SR-10, where the tracks were lost.
Other agencies joined in the search throughout the day, including Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, Utah Department of Natural Resources, Adult Probation & Parole and Utah Highway Patrol. Additionally, Emery County Search and Rescue was flying two drones in Lawrence.
“Around 15 law enforcement officers were searching for the suspect, many of them walking between seven and 10 miles clearing buildings, sheds, vacant homes and vehicles,” the post said. “At 4:45 p.m., an attentive citizen noticed the suspect hitchhiking eastbound on the South Lawrence Road. She immediately notified ECSO Dispatch Center and the search was then concentrated on that area.”
Law enforcement officers were on foot going several miles up and down the washes, and some were stationed on high ground for surveillance. Homeowners were notified and properties were searched.
“With no sign of the suspect, searchers requested a key to a vacant home that is being renovated,” the post said. “Four ECSO personnel and one AP&P Agent made entry into the home. The subject was located barricaded in a bathroom where he was verbally called out and taken into custody without incident at 6:58 p.m.”
Several law enforcement officers were on duty for up to 18 hours straight during the search, the post said.
“ECSO wants to recognize the number of man hours from multiple agencies that participated in this search throughout the day,” the post concluded. “Temperatures in the 90s and many miles on foot with little sign of the suspect made for trying conditions. ECSO appreciates the efforts of all involved.”
The State DPS helicopter was on standby for a night search, and arrived just a few minutes before the suspect was apprehended.