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On the lam for 13 years, Orem fugitive nabbed by FBI

Published August 31, 2012 2:26 pm

Crime • Man sought since 2 Orem officers were injured in traffic stop.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2012, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A longtime fugitive from Utah justice has been arrested — after 13 years on the run.

Orem police Sgt. Craig Martinez said Friday that Reinhold Neumann, initially wanted in a 1999 incident in which two Orem police officers were injured when a driver allegedly sped away from a traffic stop, had been arrested by the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force in Las Vegas.

In November 1999, Orem Officers John McCombs and Garrett Smit responded to a suspicious vehicle report and found a man passed out behind the wheel of a still running, stolen SUV. When McCombs attempted to remove the keys from the ignition to turn off the vehicle, the man awoke and fought him, striking and biting McCombs before speeding off.

"Officer Smit arrived and all he saw was Officer McCombs lying on the ground with blood all over face. When Officer Smit got out of his car the suspect sped towards him. Fearing for his life, Officer Smit fired several shots from his handgun at the suspect [and] was hit by the SUV and drug several feet."

None of the bullets were believed to have wounded Neumann, but Smit suffered broken ribs, a collapsed lung, a shattered leg and many bumps and bruises. McCombs was treated for bites and bruises.

Orem police identified the suspect as Neumann but were unable to locate him, though they did later find the stolen SUV abandoned and burned in Juab County. Then, four years later, he was arrested in Pasadena, Calif., and extradited back to Utah. However, once back in Utah County he posted bail and had not been seen since.

On Aug. 11, Neumann — using the alias Joaquin Lopez-Caraballo — was booked into Clark County Jail in Las Vegas on suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol. His prints came back as belonging to Orem's fugitive, but by then he had already been released.

Orem detectives alerted the FBI, which staked out Neumann's place of work and spotted him Thursday night, making the arrest.

Neumann, wanted on numerous arrest warrants — among them warrants for attempted homicide, aggravated assault, bail jumping and escape out of Utah, and a probation violation complaint out of California — will be extradited back to Utah for prosecution, Martinez said.

remims@sltrib.com