ST. GEORGE — A 22-year-old was arrested Sunday after a short pursuit ended with the suspect crashing a stolen vehicle into a retaining wall near a Hurricane residence.
The incident began shortly after 6 p.m. when an officer responded to a LaVerkin residence on a report of a vehicle theft.
Officers arrived to learn that a suspect, later identified as 22-year-old Maxwell Ball, had grabbed the keys to a car owned by a relative who was sleeping at the time. He then took the vehicle and drove away despite not having a driver’s license, according to charging documents filed with the courts.
A broadcast was sent out to alert officers to be on the lookout for the vehicle that was reportedly stolen. Officers then began canvassing the area in search of the car, the report states.
A patrol officer near 300 W. State Street saw a car matching the description of the vehicle reported as stolen exiting the parking lot of the county library. Once the car turned onto State Street, the driver began to accelerate and was traveling at a high rate of speed when the officer dropped in behind the car and activated his emergency lights.
Instead of pulling over, the report states, the driver continued south on 300 West and allegedly sped past the stop sign, leading the officer to believe the suspect was attempting to evade police, the report states. When the driver turned onto 400 South the officer momentarily lost sight of the car.
Seconds later, the officer noticed the fleeing vehicle had crashed into a retaining wall situated near the front yard of a residence. The driver jumped out and started running from the vehicle.
The suspect was ordered to stop multiple times, but he continued running, the report states, and it was only after the officer threatened to deploy his taser that Ball began to comply. As the officer approached he recognized the suspect front the photo released in the broadcast. The officer was also aware the suspect was driving on a denied driver’s license.
Police say during a search prior to transport, officers found two syringes in the suspect’s front pocket, along with a broken spoon that had brown residue of suspected heroin on it.
The suspect reportedly told officers he was attempting to turn when he noticed the emergency lights behind him and ran into the retaining wall as he did so. He said he was in shock after the crash and could not hear the officer ordering him to stop as he fled from the car on foot.
The vehicle was determined disabled and was towed from the roadway by a local tow company.
The suspect was transported to St. George Regional Hospital, and after he was medically cleared, he was transported and booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility facing multiple charges, including second-degree felony theft by receiving a stolen vehicle. He also faces felony evading, along with one count each of accident involving property damage, knowingly produce-dispense a controlled substance, driving on a denied license, possession of paraphernalia and failing to stop or respond at command of law enforcement.
Ed. Note: A new Utah law generally prohibits the release of arrest booking photos until after a conviction is obtained.
This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.
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