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One in custody, two at-large after fleeing suspects allegedly try to run over officers

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Posted at 8:01 PM, Nov 04, 2015
and last updated 2015-11-05 18:29:26-05

MIDVALE, Utah -- Police are searching for two suspects after officers approaching a suspicious car following a report of a home invasion and assault Wednesday night were allegedly almost ran over as three suspects sped from the scene.

Ernest R. Wilkinson

Ernest R. Wilkinson

Unified Police Department officers were checking out a suspicious vehicle in front of a home in Midvale Wednesday at about 7 p.m. after responding to a report of a home invasion.

Police were summoned to the area by a man and woman who reported they were hiding in the bedroom as the suspects entered the home. The pair seemed to know the suspects, telling officers one man was named "Ernie."

"The suspects broke down the door to the bedroom where they were; a male in that room was beaten with a baseball bat," Lt. Lex Bell, UPD, said.

Officers responded to the call, and the suspects fled when police arrived.

"And as [the officers] pulled up and were getting out of their vehicles, the suspect vehicle backed out the driveway quickly, nearly hit both officers," Bell said. "They both were forced to jump into their cars to avoid being hit."

After a short chase, police were able to stop the suspect vehicle in the area of 200 East 7660 South. The Jeep struck a cement barrier on a pedestrian walkway, tearing both axles off the vehicle.

One man was apprehended at gunpoint, 35-year-old Ernest Wilkinson.

The two others, a man and a woman, ran and are still on the loose. Police said they believe they know the identities of both outstanding suspects, but those names are not being released until that suspicion is confirmed.

Booking documents for Wilkinson indicate it appears the original home invasion may have stemmed from a drug deal that didn't pan out.

"It does sound as though they know each other, they are acquainted at some level," Bell said of the suspects and victims. "Obviously they gave us a name of one of the involved parties, so there's obviously some kind of background and back story to this that we'll try to figure out."