On Wednesday, June 18, 2015 at approximately 1:19 pm the Coconino County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) Lieutenant who manages the Page Patrol division received information from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that an individual may have been taken against his will. The FBI provided subject, victim and vehicle descriptions as well as direction of travel of the vehicle. Additionally, the subject was seeking to acquire a firearm.
The CCSO Lieutenant initiated a regional attempt to locate message with information regarding the case and a vehicle description to Northern Arizona Law Enforcement Agencies to include the Arizona Department of Public Safety, the Page Police Department, the Navajo Nation Department of Public Safety and the National Park Service.
An Arizona DPS Officer and a CCSO Sergeant located the suspect vehicle as it was north bound on Highway 89 and positioned behind a pilot vehicle at a construction zone near Cedar Ridge.
The officer and a deputy attempted to perform a high risk stop on the vehicle and administered verbal commands instructing the occupants to exit the vehicle. The occupants failed to follow instructions and the driver maneuvered the vehicle through the construction zone and continued north on Highway 89 at speeds reaching 100 miles per hour with officers in pursuit.
Page Police Officers, AZ DPS Officers and National Park Service Rangers attempted on four occasions to deploy Stop Sticks designed to gradually deflate vehicle tires; however the driver was able to avoid the stop sticks at all four locations.
At one point a Page Police Officer fired his duty weapon once at the suspect vehicle; no one was struck or injured by the bullet. CCSO Detectives and Page Police Department personnel are conducting independent investigations of this shooting.
The pursuit continued through the City of Page, AZ and north on Highway 89 into Utah. As the vehicle fled from pursuing officers the occupants threw items out of the windows to include miscellaneous papers. Utah law enforcement authorities deployed stop sticks at two more locations and during both incidents the devices effectively deflated all four tires of the suspect vehicle. In the area of milepost 54.9 on Highway 89 after traveling on tireless wheels, the vehicle veered to the side of the road.
Pursuing officers gave commands to the occupants to exit the vehicle. For a prolonged period of time the occupants refused to follow commands and continued to throw items out of the vehicle to include an empty handgun holster. They also waved an American Flag and a second unidentified flag out of the windows. At least one of the occupants placed gas masks over his face.
Eventually the driver who was believed to be the alleged kidnap victim exited the vehicle and shortly thereafter the passenger also exited the vehicle. Both individuals were taken into custody by Deputies assigned to the Kane County Sheriff’s Office Tactical Unit. Utah Highway Patrol officials are continuing this investigation.
A portion of Highway 89 in Utah was shut down for a prolonged period of time as the result of the pursuit and subsequent standoff with the vehicle occupants.