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Utah father flees crash, inadvertently leads cops to his meth lab

Published February 21, 2013 10:28 pm

Crime • Man's decision to flee crash escalates to felonies.
This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2013, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

A Utah father's decision to flee an accident scene, led Unified police straight to his home where he allegedly had a methamphetamine lab set up.

Unified police Lt. Justin Hoyal said the initial crash —which likely would have resulted in a citation for the 31-year-old father of a 3-year-old and twin 1-year-olds — spiralled into multiple felonies.

Hoyal said the man drove through a yard, a bush and up onto a cinderblock retaining wall about 10:30 a.m. Thursday near 3300 East 3329 Bernada Drive (4535 South). He then unloaded his three children and fled the vehicle before police could arrive.

A Good Samaritan spotted the man walking toward his home on 4600 block of Fortuna Way (about 3400 East) and drove him home.

Following up on the crash, Unified police went to the home to check on the man and his children. But when the man came to the door, he started to fight with them, Hoyal said. At one point, he attempted to grab an officer's Taser.

When police subdued the man and went into the home to check on the children, Hoyal said they found all the trappings of a meth lab.

They removed the children from the home and had firefighters decontaminate them as a precaution. They were then turned over to their mother, who didn't live at that address.

After police obtained a search warrant, they determined the meth lab wasn't operational, but the man had all the equipment needed to make it so.

The man was arrested on suspicion of possession of a clandestine laboratory and disarming a police officer, both first-degree felonies, as well as a number of other felony charges, Hoyal said.

jstecklein@sltrib.com

Twitter @sltribjanelle