A K-9 officer and handler join in the search for a possible suspect, Cedar City, Utah, Sept. 21, 2022 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News
CEDAR CITY — Law enforcement officers from multiple jurisdictions were called in to assist in a manhunt operation involving two men in an allegedly stolen vehicle in Cedar City on Wednesday night.
The incident began around 5:30 p.m. when Utah Adult Probation and Parole officers reportedly attempted to arrest a fugitive on a felony warrant. The subject then allegedly stole a car and drove away, with a second man also riding along as a passenger.
“They fled a short distance and AP&P terminated the pursuit, based on safety,” Cedar City Police Lt. Clint Pollock told Cedar City News at the scene.
An alert was sent out, with officers setting up a containment perimeter in the area of 500 West and 200 South.
Ultimately, Pollock said, the target vehicle came to a stop at the end of a private gravel road near the Canyon’s Mouth Trail trailhead, after which the suspects bailed out and took off on foot.
Shortly thereafter, the driver was apprehended by officers and taken into custody. However, the passenger, described as a shorter man, about 5-feet-5, and in his 20s, managed to escape and flee into the nearby foothills at the mouth of Cedar Canyon.
Pollock said neither of the men was believed to be in possession of a weapon.
“As this point, to our knowledge, there’s no threat to public safety,” he said.
The ensuing search for the passenger involved officers from several agencies, including AP&P, Cedar City Police, Iron County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Highway Patrol, Southern Utah University Police and Enoch Police. Multiple K-9 officers also were deployed.
A Utah Department of Public Safety helicopter also responded from St. George and circled the search area until dark.
No injuries were reported, Pollock said.
The search for the passenger was ultimately unsuccessful. Cedar City Police said in a Facebook post Thursday morning that they aren’t pursuing any charges against him.
Meanwhile, the driver was subsequently identified by police as 30-year-old Dayton Tso of Cedar City.
Contacted on Thursday, Utah Department of Corrections spokeswoman Kaitlin Felsted confirmed that AP&P agents were attempting to locate Tso, who had a warrant out for his arrest dating back to October 2021.
“At this point, we’re handling the parole violation and warrants. New charges are being coordinated with Cedar City PD,” Felsted told Cedar City News.
According to the Iron County Jail website, Tso was booked at 7:28 p.m. Wednesday on a felony aggravated assault warrant. Utah court records indicate that Tso was convicted of that crime four years ago, in September 2018. Tso’s criminal history includes several other cases dating back more than a decade.
This report is based on information provided by law enforcement and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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