Following rollover crash near Enterprise, man arrested for multiple charges

2019 stock image of Utah Highway Patrol vehicles on Interstate 15 | St. George News

ST. GEORGE — A parolee out of Salt Lake City was arrested Monday evening, after allegedly eluding authorities in a stolen pickup that rolled on state Route 18 just south of Enterprise before being tasered and then taken into custody by police.

In this 2018 file (photo for illustrative purposes only), a traffic backup on state Route 18 is reported near Dammeron Valley, Washington County, Utah, July 12, 2018 | Photo by Joseph Witham, St. George News

On Monday, a Utah Highway Patrol trooper was dispatched to SR-18 near mile marker 20 north of Dammeron Valley on a report of a stolen truck shortly after 4:15 p.m. The pickup was pulling a trailer at the time

According to the probable cause statement filed in support of the arrest, the pickup was pulling a trailer at the time it was allegedly taken.

During this time, emergency dispatch began receiving reports of a reckless driver heading north in a truck towing a trailer, information that was relayed to the trooper who was still canvassing the area in search of the suspect.

As the search for the suspect continued, the trooper noticed a vehicle on the side of the road near mile marker 33. The trooper spoke to the driver who reportedly said they witnessed a vehicle heading north on SR-18 veer into oncoming traffic, which is when the suspect lost control of the truck, and the truck veered to the right and went off the road.

The trailer disconnected from the pickup as it left the roadway and landed in a ditch on the east side of SR-18. The witness also said as soon as the trailer came loose, the suspect got back on the highway and headed north. The witness also showed the trooper “a cell phone video of the driving pattern,” the report states.

A short time later, emergency dispatched advised the trooper there was a rollover crash near Enterprise involving a pickup matching the description of the one they were looking for. But the driver, the report states, was no longer at the scene after he was picked up by a passerby who dropped the man off at the Sinclair gas station on East Main Street in Enterprise.

From there, the suspect had last been seen on foot heading east on SR-18. The witnesses also said the man was not wearing a shirt and had multiple tattoos. The suspect was located near mile post 41.

When the trooper ordered the suspect to the ground, the report states, the man continued walking along the center of the highway away from the officer, and according to the report, the suspect appeared “very aggressive” and was motioning obscene gestures at the trooper as he did so.

When backup arrived, the suspect started throwing rocks at both troopers’ patrol vehicles and then reportedly pulled down his shorts, exposing his genitals, at which point a taser was deployed, which struck the suspect in the abdomen and immobilized the man. He fell to the ground and was taken into custody by police.

The report also states the suspect smelled of alcohol and identified himself as 49-year-old Javier Trejo Gutierrez, which troopers were able to confirm through a records check.

In this 2020 file photo for illustrative purposes only Utah Highway Patrol troopers respond to scene of a crash near Parowan, Utah, June 3, 2020 | Photo by Jeff Richards, St. George News / Cedar City News

More than five hours after the initial call, Gutierrez was transported to St. George Regional Hospital and was medically cleared before being booked into Purgatory Correctional Facility facing multiple charges – including second-degree felony possession of a stolen vehicle.

The suspect also faces six misdemeanor charges, including two counts of accidents with property damage for first crashing and leaving the trailer on the side of the road, while the second charge involved the rollover. Gutierrez also faces one count each of DUI, public urination, reckless driving and interfering with an arresting officer.

A background check revealed Gutierrez was driving on a suspended license and was out on parole on a 2016 conviction for similar crimes when the incident took place.

In that case, the suspect was charged with felony theft of a vehicle and fleeing after he was found in a Honda that officers discovered was reported as stolen to the Unified Police Department in September 2015. The suspect fled from officers and was later arrested and told police he had stolen the Honda from an apartment complex two days earlier.

The following year, Gutierrez was sentenced to serve 0-5 years in Utah State Prison, and was placed on parole upon his release. He was still on parole when the incident on SR-18 took place.

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.

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

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