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UPDATE: Emery County suspect arrested thanks to tip from citizen

Local News

CASTLE DALE, Utah (ABC4 News)- Police in Emery County asked the public to keep an eye out for a man that ran away from deputies after they said he stole two vehicles, abandoned one and crashed the other.

Thanks to a tip from an attentive citizen, the man, later identified as 34-year-old Jabarri Sekou Mugabe Hunter, was found in Lawrence, Utah and arrested.

How it all happened

On July 11 at 1:45 a.m. a clerk from Maverik in Castle Dale told police that a man entered the store carrying a gas can. The clerk said the man asked for $2 for gas money but when the clerk refused, the man left.

Surveillance pictures from the local Maverik show Hunter entering the store and police said they found his red jacket but hadn’t found him.
Courtesy: Emery County Sheriff’s Office

Hunter reportedly ran out of gas a couple of blocks down the road. He is said to have walked back to the Maverik offering to sell his sunglasses and earrings to the clerk for gas money.

The clerk offered to call the Emery County Sheriff’s Office for help with gas but the Hunter declined the offer and left, according to police.

Police said the clerk felt Hunter’s behavior was suspicious and called Emery County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch Center.

Deputy Kurt Price and Deputy Keaton Cowley responded to the vehicle which was near a Family Dollar but there was no one in it at the time, according to police.

After running the plates, police said they found that the vehicle was listed stolen from Colorado.

Police said after they had located the first vehicle they found that Hunter stole a truck from Grant Automotive. Deputies said they chased after him near the east end of Castle Dale, crossing through the ball fields and rodeo grounds several times.

Hunter eventually crashed the truck into a dumpster at an apartment complex and fled on foot, according to police.

Deputy Price reportedly pursued Hunter on foot while Deputy Cowley pursed him in his patrol car.

Police said more patrol cars were called to assist in the search which continued in the dark for several blocks in Castle Dale.

Other deputies and agencies joined in the search throughout the day including DWR, DNR, AP&P, and UHP.

Emery County Search and Rescue flew drones to assist in the search.

Police said about 15 law enforcement officers searched for the suspect and walked between 7 and 10 miles.

At 4:45 p.m. an attentive citizen noticed Hunter hitch hiking eastbound on South Lawrence Road, according to police.

The woman notified police causing the search to be concentrated on that area.

Homeowners in the area were notified and homes were searched but police said all that was to no avail.

With no sign of Hunter, searchers said they requested a key to a vacant home that is being renovated where the suspect was found barricaded in a bathroom.

Police said they verbally called out to Hunter and took him into custody at 6:58 p.m.

Hunter is currently being held at the Emery County jail awaiting formal charges.

34-year-old Jabarri Sekou Mugabe Hunter. Courtesy: Emery County Sheriff’s Office

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