A brief melee after a traffic stop in Washington County, including an ill-conceived attempt at horse theft, resulted in the arrest of four people, with one other suspect still on the lam.
According to the Utah Highway Patrol, a trooper stopped a 2008 Chevrolet Impala with Colorado plates Saturday afternoon in the northbound lane of Interstate 15 after getting reports that the car had been driving recklessly.
The car, driven by a man with one other male and three women as passengers, pulled over about 20 miles south of Cedar City. It didn't take long before the trooper found drugs in the vehicle. After the trooper smelled marijuana, one of the passengers took some marijuana out of her shirt and handed it over to him. She was arrested after the trooper also found heroin in her pockets.
After a brief struggle, in which a magazine for a pistol fell out of his clothes, the driver was handcuffed. A handgun that was listed as stolen was later found inside the car. The male passenger, however, wouldn't go as easily. He allegedly ran across I-15, and the handcuffed driver ran after him.
The driver was caught quickly, but the passenger managed to escape. According to UHP, he was last seen in the New Harmony area. He is described as an Hispanic man with black hair, brown eyes and wearing a teal shirt with blue jeans.
According to a UHP report, one of the men tried to escape on a horse, "but the horse was unwilling to aid the criminal." It was unclear in the report whether the would-be horse whisperer was the driver who was eventually arrested or the passenger who is still on the loose.
Anyone with information about the man's whereabouts should call UHP at 435-586-9445.