SALINA — A chase that began in Emery County ended with some tense moments in Salina before three people from Colorado were ultimately taken into custody.
Salina City police officer Greg Harwood said the pursuit began around 12:45 p.m. Wednesday on westbound I-70 when a Utah Highway Patrol trooper tried to stop a dark grey Infiniti with Colorado license plates.
The car instead sped off, reaching speeds of up to 120 miles-per-hour, according to investigators.
Though the car was able to evade the trooper near Highway 10, police once again spotted the vehicle near the Gooseberry exit off I-70.
Harwood said Salina City Police Chief Al Taylor joined the pursuit near the Salina exit and chased the car, which was traveling nearly 100 miles per hour as it approached town.
“Our police chief was able to cut the suspects off as they came around the corner,” Harwood said.
Once the car had reached a convenience store and daycare near 200 W. Main Street, police said three people fled from the vehicle.
The chief was on the ground with one of the fleeing people when another one of the three — a 17-year-old girl — leaned out of a nearby dumpster.
“Chief confronted the one subject there on the ground, and the girl was actually right here in the dumpster leaning out while he was down here,” Harwood pointed.
Harwood said the 17-year-old girl had a gun.
A nearby citizen saw the girl and the gun, and he yelled "don't shoot," Harwood said.
The man startled the teen, Harwood said, forcing her to take cover inside the dumpster before she apparently decided to take off running.
“We can only think he saved our chief today, so we appreciate him very much,” Harwood said. “(The teen) was tased and taken into custody right there just inside the gate.”
“We can only think he saved our chief today, so we appreciate him very much." - Officer Greg Harwood
Police ultimately took all three people into custody. They subsequently identified the men as Eric Robert Somerville, 22, of Littleton, Colo., and Sean Anthony Estrada of Westminster, Colo. The 17-year-old girl was believed to be a runaway, Harwood said.
Police said the men were being detained at the Sevier County Jail and the teen was being held at a juvenile detention center in Richfield pending further investigation.
Harwood said electronics, computers, wallets, personal information, marijuana and drug paraphernalia were recovered from the vehicle.
The three are all considered suspects in felony crimes in Colorado and Wyoming, according to investigators.
The situation prompted lockdowns at schools in Salina and a reverse 911 call to residents.