Sheriff's Report: A Cross-County Chase, Voodoo Dolls And More

Jul 9, 2020

Credit Summit County Sheriff's Office

Among the incidents reported by local law enforcement recently: A suspect fled through Summit County, in a crime spree that included stealing a county vehicle; and a South Summit resident has been harassed by a series of bizarre messages.


Sheriff’s Lt. Andrew Wright said that on June 30, officers responded to a 32-year-old Oakley woman who said that someone had entered her barn and hung a small straw “voodoo-style” doll from a rope.


She said that several other incidents have occurred in the past six months. Among those, the woman said she has found crosses made from sticks, and rocks spelling out one of her initials. She found 32 dead roses, half-buried next to a cross labeled with her birthday and a prospective death day in 2020. She discovered a bag of chicken guts and feathers, and said someone entered her home, moved her bed and tampered with some household items.


Also, on the night of July 4, according to Utah Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Nick Street, the pursuit of a suspect began when the Utah Highway Patrol received complaints that a motorist on U.S. 40 was driving recklessly and apparently pointing an automatic rifle at people.


He headed east on Interstate 80. Summit County’s incident report said that at some point, the suspect abandoned his girlfriend’s vehicle at Summit County’s Public Works facility and stole an F-150 belonging to the county that was unlocked with the keys inside.


Lt. Street said a trooper encountered the suspect on the interstate near Wanship and pursued him onto I-84, with the suspect driving at speeds up to 103 mph. The trooper gave up the chase near the Morgan-Weber county line for reasons of safety.


He was subsequently reported in East Canyon, where he stole an ATV but then ditched it. He also reportedly fired his gun into some brush and started a small fire.


Lt. Street said the suspect was later detained by Salt Lake officers at the interchange of I-15 and 900 South, and the county vehicle was recovered. The suspect, identified as a 37-year-old man from Henderson, Nevada, was found under the freeway bridge with the firearm in his lap.


Following up, Lt. Wright said he reached out to Public Works about the theft from their lot. He said administrators are working to see this kind of incident doesn’t happen again.


Finally, a shooting trip, also on July 4, didn’t work out for a 17-year-old Coalville youth. The youngster was on his family’s property in Franklin Canyon, shooting squirrels and other rodents. Lt. Wright said he was handling a small-caliber handgun with the safety off, and accidentally shot himself in the foot. His companions helped him down from the canyon and got him to medical treatment.