WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah — A suspected car thief surrendered to police after running from officers and hiding in a Salt Lake City home, and authorities said there were children in that residence when the suspect sought refuge there.
Things began Friday night when officers observing a stolen vehicle in West Valley City began to follow it, and when the driver tried to flee officers attempted to spike the car’s tires but failed.
Police pursued the car, and the driver, later identified as Jonathan Ivan Padilla Lopez, jumped out of the car at one point and fled on foot. The man hid out in a home near Poplar Grove Boulevard and Post Street in Salt Lake City, where there were children inside.
“Now if you decide not to come out you need to let [the children] out of the residence,” a police officer could be heard saying through a megaphone during the incident. “We don’t want to get the kids caught up in anything. Let them exit the residence, please.”
Lt. Dalan Taylor, West Valley City Police Department, said ensuring the safety of those children was their main concern.
“Obviously we’re concerned for the welfare of those children over taking any suspect into custody, that’s going to be our priority, is to make sure they are safe and things are done safely,” Taylor said.
Police said when the suspect eventually surrendered, the children came out of the home behind him and were reunited with family members who arrived on scene as the incident took place.
Investigators said they believe the suspect may be related to the owner of that home. The homeowner gave police consent to search the residence after the suspect was apprehended, and no further suspects or illegal items were located.