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In small town, citizens and other agencies big help for police

By Celeste Tholen Rosenlof | Posted - Feb 27th, 2013 @ 4:21pm

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BRIGHAM CITY — A small town in Northern Utah managed a busy day for emergency responders with the help of multiple agencies and citizens, police said.

According to Brigham City Police Department Lt. Mike Nelsen, the small town's police department employs 25 officers total. School officers and uniform patrol units aside, up to five people are available for dispatch on a normal day. Days like Tuesday can tap out resources in the department, making the role of citizens and the cooperation with other agencies much more important.

About 3 p.m. Tuesday, police responded to a call of a missing worker following a roof collapse during the demolition of a vacant Kmart building. A K9 officer from another agency later found 39-year-old Saofai Sautia, of Sandy, dead.

Nelsen said three uniformed officers arrived on scene. Brigham City Department of Public Safety took over the investigation upon arrival, with a police sergeant assisting.

The three officers were then dispatched to a report of a domestic situation elsewhere in the city.

Two plain clothes detectives from the police department stayed on scene for a couple of hours managing crowd control. The detectives also assisted in gathering evidence once Sautia was found.

At 6:02 p.m., the police department was alerted to a robbery in progress at a Chase Bank at 101 S. Main Street. The three uniformed officers and two detectives responded to find the suspect, 29-year-old Brad Beasley, had allegedly stolen a truck.

Officers began a short pursuit of Beasley after they saw the truck rounding a corner near 200 South and 200 East at a high speed. He then crashed the truck into a cement barricade near 500 South and 400 East.

Police said that while officers took Beasley into custody, the man bit officers. The event lasted about 8 minutes from the report to arresting the suspect, Nelsen said.

Nelsen said the tellers who reported the robbery and the woman who called police after Beasley allegedly stole her truck were part of the reason the chase was over so quickly and the suspect apprehended.

"I just appreciate the other agency's help on it, the citizens that helped out on it," Nelsen said. "They really are our eyes and ears. They're the ones that see the bank robbery because they're experiencing it, they have the gun pointed at their heads and stayed calm. The end result was great. Nobody was seriously injured. Everybody was able to go home at night that should have gone home."

The officers received support from Box Elder County Sheriff's Office and Utah Highway Patrol, as well as Adult Probation and Parole. The FBI was also alerted to the robbery.


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