West Valley officers use pepperballs to stop fugitive

Posted at 6:13 AM, May 04, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-04 15:03:09-04

Cesar Mendez-Parra

WEST VALLEY CITY, Utah - A wanted fugitive and two other people are behind bars after West Valley City officers used pepperballs.

Officers said they saw the wanted man in a car around 9 p.m. Wednesday near 3100 S. and 4000 W.

Police said 25-year-old Cesar Mendez Parra had a no-bail warrant out for his arrest, among other charges.

Officials said he is also the prime suspect in a recent road rage incident where a gunshot was fired into a car with a family inside, including two children.

After surrounding the vehicle and issuing several commands to come out, Parra and two others refused to comply.

At that point, officers decided to deploy a paintball-style version of pepper spray which quickly had the desired effect on those inside.

"The occupants of the vehicle were given multiple commands," Lt. Blair Barfuss said. "Over a PA system they were given plenty of time to comply with officers' instructions. They failed to show their hands, they failed to exit the vehicle safely, they failed to do anything asked of them. It takes drastic measures for us to deploy a pepperball system."

After the pepper spray was cleared, police searched the vehicle and found a handgun hidden inside.

Detectives say it was stolen in a recent home burglary and Parra admitted to stealing the weapon.

Officers also found drugs and paraphernalia in the car along with other stolen property.

Parra is now in jail booked on nearly 20 charges including the no-bail warrant.

Cesar Mendez-Parra

Cesar Mendez-Parra