Courthouse fugitive is suspect in Sugar House burglaries
A man whose brief flight from a courthouse led to the lockdown of two Farmington schools before he was captured also turned out to be a career criminal wanted in connection with no less than nine burglaries in Salt Lake City.
Salt Lake City police spokeswoman Lara Jones confirmed Thursday that 51-year-old Christian Wayne Pyle had been identified as the suspect in the break-ins, which occurred in the city's Sugar House area over the past seven months.
With Pyle now in custody in Davis County, the Salt Lake County District Attorney's Office has been asked by Salt Lake City police to file multiple burglary charges against him, Jones said.
Davis County sheriff's Sgt. Susan Poulsen said Pyle apparently was responding to a summons on another matter just before noon when staff at 2nd District Court in Farmington recognized him as being wanted on an active burglary-related arrest warrant out of Salt Lake City.
When told of the warrant, Pyle fled, reportedly jumping into his car and speeding away from the courthouse. Police found him in a residential garage about 20-25 minutes later, near to where he had abandoned the car; Pyle was arrested without further incident.
During his brief flight from justice, Farmington Junior High and Farmington Elementary schools were locked down as a precaution.
On Thursday, Pyle remained in the Davis County Jail, being held without bail on the Salt Lake City warrant as well as multiple counts of burglary, suspicion of possessing methamphetamine, failure to respond to an officer's signal to stop and failure to obey traffic control device.
The garage where Pyle was arrested was in the home belonging to the son of Farmington Mayor Scott Harbertson. The home is about half a mile away from the courthouse.
"I'm not sure what happened, but my son had not gotten home yet when [my daughter-in-law] found the guy in her garage," Harbertson told the Standard Examiner.
Police spotted Pyle about the same time, taking the mother and her children to safety behind a squad car while they went into the garage and took Pyle into custody.
Pyle's criminal record goes back more than two decades, including numerous assault and drug, theft and burglary related convictions.
Court records showed he had been out of Davis County Jail on $10,000 bond most recently, awaiting trial on third-degree burglary and felony charges stemming from June 2012 incidents; Pyle also was out on $5,000 bond on 3rd District Court drug and traffic charges dating from November 2012.
According to the Utah Department of Corrections, Pyle has been in and out of the prison system since 1982. Prison spokesman Steve Gehrke said Pyle was last released in 2011.