After week on the lam, fugitive Utah felon treed, arrested
West Valley City police say the luck of a fugitive felon on the run for the past week ran out when he, literally, was chased up a tree.
WVCPD spokeswoman Roxanne Vainuku said that 26-year-old Jason Val Stout, a career criminal sought on numerous felony warrants, was traced by detectives to a home in Woods Cross Tuesday night. Stout, inside a car parked in the residence’s driveway, sped away when approached by officers from the Unified Police Department’s Metro Gang Unit.
"He took off, ramming into a detective’s vehicle, and then went onto [southbound] Interstate 15 to Bountiful," Vainuku said, noting that a handgun and drugs were later recovered from the car.
Officers found the vehicle abandoned, but a subsequent search — involving several area law enforcement agencies — finally found hiding in the branches of the tree.
Even then, Stout refused to surrender as officers, including police dogs, surrounded the tree. He reportedly reached toward his waistband, challenging officers to shoot him.
Instead, a cloud of pepper spray and a shock from a Taser brought down the ex-con quarry, Vainuku said.
Stout was taken to Lakeview Hospital, checked out by doctors, and then booked into the Davis County jail. He remained behind bars Wednesday in lieu of more than $30,000 bail on suspicion of 23 felony and misdemeanor counts, ranging from aggravated assault, automobile theft, forgery and drug possession to fleeing police and possession of a firearm by a restricted person.
On Aug. 13, Stout — also known as "Jay-Nut" and "Champ" — was being sought on a $10,000 arrest warrant issued in March for allegedly possessing a stolen vehicle and burglary tools. Officer spotted him driving in West Valley City.
A chase ensued, during which Stout abandoned the car — and his 25-year-old girlfriend — at 627 E. 5400 South in Murray. She, too, tried to run away as Stout disappeared into the night, but officers quickly captured and jailed her.
Third District Court records show Stout has a criminal history stretching back to 2006 that includes numerous drug-related offenses, along with automobile theft, attempted theft and various firearms and traffic violations.