Three in custody after man begins kicking undercover police car outside SLC motel

Posted at 3:20 PM, Feb 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-20 20:20:27-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- Officers looking for a parole fugitive were kicked into gear Friday night when a man engaged in an argument began damaging an undercover police vehicle, and three wanted men are now behind bars.

Lt. Manfred Lassig of the Unified Police Department said members of the Metro Gang Unit were following up on a tip regarding parole fugitive Jeremy Lettow, who was at a Motel 6 on North Temple in Salt Lake City.

Detectives were watching the motel in an undercover vehicle when two people came out and began arguing near the vehicle. FOX 13 News first heard report of the incident around 10:30 p.m.

"One male was very upset and started kicking and damaging the undercover vehicle that was sitting in the parking lot, not realizing that a police officer was sitting inside the vehicle," Lassig said.

Backup responded and apprehended the two who were arguing. They later determined both men were wanted out of Idaho, and a search of the pair turned up 22 grams of heroin.

Heroin seized by police during an operation to catch a parole fugitive February 19.

Heroin seized by police during an operation to catch a parole fugitive February 19.

“That’s a decent amount of heroin, that is," Lassig said.

Lettow was found inside the motel room they had been watching, and Lassig said that after a "little persuasion" he came outside and was taken into custody.

Police said the arrest stems from a concerted effort by Salt Lake City police, Unified PD and Adult Probation and Parole to capture parole fugitives.

"Well right now with the situation after the Doug Barney shooting, being an individual who fled from his status at a halfway house, the sheriff has tasked several of the units that they are to focus on parole fugitives," Lassig said.