After an eight-hour manhunt, a 20-year-old Provo man’s alleged evasion of law enforcement came to an end earlier this month when he flagged down a Grand County Sheriff’s deputy for a ride.
Joseph Evans was arrested for evading law enforcement and reckless driving, as well as driving with a suspended license, driving without insurance and “no valid registration.”
Authorities allege that he evaded state troopers during an attempted traffic stop on U.S. Highway 191 and then crashed his motorcycle off state Route 313 north of Moab.
Utah Highway Patrol Lt. Ty Roberts said that troopers attempted to stop a speeding motorcycle near mile marker 149 on Highway 191 at about 8:50 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 12.
Troopers didn’t pursue the motorcyclist, Roberts said, because they knew that they couldn’t keep up with him. A short time later, though, someone spotted the motorcyclist near the intersection of Highway 191 and state Route 313. After troopers initiated the emergency lights on their vehicles, the motorcyclist turned off the highway and began to drive up 313, Roberts said.
Although it was too dark at the time to see anything more than the motorcycle’s lights, Roberts said the vehicle was soon discovered hiding in a pullout off 313. Seconds after a trooper entered the area, Roberts said, the motorcycle roared to life and the driver allegedly bolted from the scene.
He subsequently crashed his motorcycle into the dirt, and then fled on foot into a hilly area on the north side of 313, Roberts said.
A tracking team proceeded to search for Evans into the night, but Roberts said that searchers were eventually pulled from the scene; two law enforcement officials remained in the area and advised motorists not to pick up hitchhikers.
Shortly before 5 a.m. on Sunday, Aug. 13, Evans reportedly surfaced. According to Roberts, the suspect walked onto 313 and began to wave down a vehicle. Unbeknownst to Evans, Roberts said, a sheriff’s deputy was driving the vehicle.
The deputy called for backup, and Evans was taken into custody at the scene. Under the law, he is presumed to be innocent unless or until a court formally convicts him of any charges.
Search ends when suspect flags down sheriff’s deputy for a ride