ST. GEORGE — Two men from New York were arrested after a pursuit that began early Thursday morning in Iron County, reaching triple-digit speeds before ending in Washington County when spike strips were deployed.
The incident began shortly after 1 a.m. on southbound Interstate 15 near milepost 63 in Cedar City when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper attempted to stop a 2018 Chevrolet Cruze traveling nearly 100 mph.
Utah Highway Patrol Sgt. Nick Street said the trooper got behind the car and activated the lights and sirens. The driver, still traveling at nearly triple-digit speeds, refused to pull the car over, and a pursuit was initiated.
A second trooper joined in the pursuit behind the lead patrol car, Street said, and the chase continued south reaching speeds of 120 mph.
Meanwhile, Washington County Sheriff’s deputies responded to an area just ahead of the pursuit where they deployed spike strips to slow the suspects’ vehicle down.
Three sets of spike strips were ultimately required, as the vehicle maneuvered around the first two sets, continuing south at a high rate of speed, Street said.
When the vehicle hit the third set near mile marker 21 just south of Leeds, the tires were shredded, and the vehicle was unable to continue. Once stopped, the driver jumped out of the car and fled the area on foot.
The passenger, later identified as 32-year-old William Reno, of Plattsburg, New York, remained in the vehicle and was taken into custody at gunpoint by police.
During a search of the vehicle, troopers allegedly found marijuana, paraphernalia and the sedative Alprazolam in a plastic bag without a prescription bottle.
While being questioned by police, Reno allegedly admitted to using the marijuana and sedatives during the road trip. He was transported to Iron County Jail facing one third-degree felony count of failing to stop at the command of law enforcement and misdemeanor charges of drug and paraphernalia possession, according to charging documents.
Later that same day, a records check on Reno revealed he had a warrant out of New York for manufacturing methamphetamine. When the trooper contacted the detective assigned to the New York case, he learned that Reno was allegedly running a methamphetamine lab inside his East Coast home, court records said.
The detective in New York then made arrangements to have the suspect extradited back to the East Coast to face those charges, adding the fugitive of justice charge.
The driver, later identified as Bryant Demelo, of Willsboro, New York, was located and arrested hours later and was transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was booked into custody on one misdemeanor count of failing to stop at an officer’s command. He is also being held on an out-of-state warrant, the details of which were not available when this report published.
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