UHP troopers chase false 911 call

Background photo of Interstate 15 at night, St. George, Utah, circa September 2013 | Photo by Bryn Parastino, Image composite by St. George News

CEDAR CITY —  A call to 911 Sunday afternoon that reported a person brandishing and shooting a firearm at a driver of a semitractor-trailer on Interstate 15 may have been a false report, Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Steve Esplin said.

UHP troopers were dispatched at approximately 2 p.m. on information from the 911 call, made by the driver of the semitractor-trailer, reporting the driver of a plum-colored Buick LaCrosse had fired two rounds at him at mile marker 58, said UHP Trooper Clay Allred.

The 911 caller provided detailed information to dispatchers including where the license plates were issued from, partial plate number, the type and color of vehicle the suspects were driving and the color of shirt the passenger was wearing at the time.

The UHP troopers located the suspected vehicle and conducted a felony stop at which time they learned the occupants were an older couple. While the details the reporting party had provided to dispatch were fairly accurate, Esplin said, officers were unable to locate a weapon inside the vehicle.

“It turned out they were an elderly couple who had scriptures on their front center console. Yes the passenger was wearing a red shirt,” he said, “but there was no weapon in the car.”

Both Allred and Esplin said they believe they did pull over the correct vehicle which had been reported to 911, as it is unlikely there was another vehicle with the same description and out-of-state plates.

“It’s an astronomical chance you’re going to see another Buick LaCrosse with Florida plates traveling on I-15 in Southern Utah with a passenger wearing a red shirt,” Allred said.

Dispatchers earlier told the 911 caller to stay at the rest stop located approximately 15 minutes south of Cedar City and wait for UHP troopers to come and take a report. However, when officers arrived at the rest stop, there was no semitractor-trailer on scene matching the description of the one provided by the 911 caller.

Troopers were also unable to reach the 911 caller via the phone number left with dispatchers at the time the report came in, Allred said.

The incident will now be turned over to the State Bureau of Investigations for further investigation, Esplin said. If the 911 caller is located, he could possibly face charges of filing a false police report he added.

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Twitter: @STGnews | @tracie_sullivan

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

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  • ladybugavenger January 17, 2016 at 6:44 pm

    That’s all fine and dandy but just because someone is elderly and has scriptures in the car doesn’t mean they are “good”.probably means they are Mormon since we are in Utah. But not finding a gun in the car, is the main focus, right?

  • ladybugavenger January 17, 2016 at 6:46 pm

    I suggest you keep the Bible and U.S. Constitution in your car

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