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KSL TV, File

Police arrest fatal hit-and-run suspect who hid in manure, escaped custody while in hospital

By Tracie Snowder, KSL.com | Posted - Jan. 18, 2021 at 10:05 p.m.



SALT LAKE CITY — Police have arrested a man who they say fled a fatal hit-and-run accident, was found later in a stolen vehicle, and escaped custody while in the hospital after ingesting drugs.

Adalberto Ozeta, 30, was wanted in connection with a Jan. 8 fatal hit-and-run and multiple other warrants, including felony theft and fraud, according to a probable cause affidavit. Police officers were pursuing a stolen vehicle on Jan. 16 and attempted to stop the vehicle. The car drove into oncoming traffic on Redwood Road and officers stopped the pursuit for safety reasons. Officers were able to keep an eye on the stolen car until a helicopter continued the pursuit, according to court documents. Ozeta continued fleeing on Redwood Road, running red lights and reaching speeds of more than 100 mph.

The car got stuck and Ozeta started fleeing on foot.

"Officers were able to locate the suspect trying to conceal himself in a pile of manure in the middle of a corral," the probably cause affidavit stated. "The male was ordered to show his hands, but he kept them tucked underneath him. Officers had to forcefully (pull) the male's arms out from under him."

After Ozeta was taken into custody, officers said they found methamphetamine on him. Ozeta told the officers he swallowed a balloon (approximately 1.5 grams) of heroin and he was taken to Mountain View Hospital in Payson. The officers who brought him to the hospital transferred custody to Payson police officers.

While Ozeta was in the intensive care unit, he was handcuffed to his bed. He slipped out of the handcuffs and escaped through an emergency exit, police said. Ozeta was found a short time later and taken into custody again. Officers brought him to Utah Valley Hospital where Ozeta received a medical clearance to be taken to jail.

Ozeta was booked into the Utah County Jail for investigation of failing to stop or respond to an officer, possession of a controlled substance, escaping from official custody (class 3 felonies) and interference with an arresting officer (a class B misdemeanor).

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