Shots fired from truck, pursuit following burglaries keep Washington City officers busy over weekend

Stock image of new Washington City Police Vehicle taken in Washington City, February 21, 2020 | Photo by Cody Blowers, St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A report of a residential burglary resulted in the arrest of a Las Vegas man, who allegedly entered two homes, the second of which was occupied at the time, and then fled from police in a stolen vehicle Sunday night – one of several incidents that kept officers busy over the weekend.

Khiare Terrell Taylor, 26, of Las Vegas, Nev., booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Jan. 17, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Shortly before 9 p.m. on Sunday, officers were dispatched to a residential burglary reported off Green Springs Drive. Upon arrival, they spoke to the homeowners who reported seeing a man walking along the street they hadn’t recognized from the neighborhood just as they were leaving their residence for a 15-minute walk that evening.

They stated the man had several tattoos and provided a detailed description to police, according to charging documents filed with the courts.

When they returned to their home, they noticed the front door was ajar and several of the lights they left on were turned off, the report states. They also said they noticed a black passenger car with a heavily damaged rear bumper they had never seen before leaving the cul-de-sac.

At the scene, the officer was advised a vehicle and suspect (matching the description provided by the homeowners) was seen near the Green Springs Golf Course less than five blocks from the residence.

Patrol officers also determined through a check of the VIN number that the vehicle was stolen out of Nevada.

As officers attempted to locate the vehicle, the suspect abandoned the car to canvas a nearby area and was spotted in some trees by one of the officers. When the man caught a glimpse of the officer, he ran “at a dead sprint” toward the stolen vehicle, ignoring several commands to stop by police, the officer wrote in the report.

The suspect made it to the car and sped away from the area, while several patrol units with lights and sirens activated followed after him.

During the chase, the suspect ran a stop sign at Fairway Drive and Green Springs Drive and rammed into one of the police patrol units, then sped off traveling north on Green Springs.

With two patrol units behind him, he continued evading officers with his headlights off, driving erratically and swerving across the roadway and driving left of center along Green Springs Drive, according to the report, until one of the officers performed a PIT maneuver, which spun the suspect’s vehicle onto the sidewalk where it finally came to a stop.

The suspect continued to try and drive forward as officers shouted commands at the suspect to exit the vehicle. Officers then broke two passenger side windows and ordered him, at gunpoint, to get his foot off the gas pedal, according to the report.

The suspect was pulled from the car and taken into custody without further incident.

Once in custody, officers were informed of a second home burglary reported in the same general area where the first had allegedly taken place, along with a suspect description matching the man arrested by police.

Washington City Police Chief Jason Williams told St. George News that during that incident, the suspect entered the home through an open garage while the residents were inside.

Just as the suspect entered, a woman encountered the suspect and was soon joined by her husband who was able to keep the situation calm as he spoke to the suspect, Williams said. The suspect told the homeowner that he and his pregnant girlfriend were stranded near the park on Green Springs Drive and that he needed a ride, a request the homeowner refused. The residents were able to get an iPad back from the suspect, who then left with a warning to the couple to not call police.

The suspect was later identified as 26-year-old Khiare Terrell Taylor of Las Vegas. A records check also revealed he was driving a stolen car on a revoked license.

Taylor was transported and booked into Washington County Purgatory Correctional Facility facing one count of receiving-transferring a stolen vehicle and two counts of burglary of a dwelling, each a second-degree felony, along with third-degree felony count of aggravated assault and failing to stop at command of law enforcement. He also faces six misdemeanor charges, including burglary of a vehicle, failing to stop at command of law enforcement, interfering with arresting officers, fleeing from an accident, driving on a revoked license and reckless driving.

The suspect remains in custody without bail.

Justin Taylor Sego,35, of Washington City, booking photo taken in Washington County, Utah, Jan. 16, 2021 | Photo courtesy of the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, St. George News

Shots fired

The night before, Williams said, officers responded to the area of Red Stone Road after emergency dispatch received multiple calls reporting that a suspect drove by firing multiple gunshots from his vehicle. Witnesses also reported hearing screaming as the car went by but were unable to provide a description of the vehicle at the time.

As officers circulated through the area they received additional information indicating the suspect may be driving a Ford pickup truck with a dirt bike in the bed of the truck, according to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest.

Another witness reported the suspect was driving through the Red Stone neighborhood at a high rate of speed with two children in the pickup, and a minute or two later they heard gun shots.

After further investigation, officers received information identifying the suspect as 35-year-old Justin Sego; and when officers went to the suspect’s home in St. George, they found a Chevrolet pickup parked near the residence with a dirt bike in the bed of the truck.

The suspect was questioned by police, which is when he reportedly admitted to firing gun shots towards the pavement. Due to restrictions at the jail related to COVID-19, officers were unable to arrest the suspect at that time. Instead, authorities continued preparing the charges that would be submitted to the Washington County Attorney’s Office for review.

During this time, Sego allegedly violated a restraining order while intoxicated and was arrested and transported to Purgatory Correctional Facility. He was charged with criminal endangerment, criminal trespass, discharge of a firearm, driving under the influence, possession of a controlled substance and damage to a communications device.

The suspect was released from jail a short time later and was scheduled to make an initial appearance in 5th District Court via video on Tuesday.

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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