Utah man fled in handcufs, at large

By Ben Winslow
The Deseret Morning News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Utah Highway Patrol troopers are still searching for a man who fled the scene of a drug bust while handcuffed.

The UHP said a Ford Edge was stopped for speeding on I-80 near Wright Bros. Drive about 10:45 p.m. Wednesday. Upon questioning, troopers said a man who was a passenger in the sport utility vehicle gave a suspicious story.

"He stated he flew to New York alone, rented the vehicle, then drove back to Lake Tahoe and picked up the female driver and they were going to drive back to New York and fly to California," UHP trooper Cameron Roden said.

The trooper used a K-9 officer to search around the car.

"The dog indicated there was something there, so he started a search and found in the cargo area a duffle bag that had 60 pounds of marijuana," Roden said.

The man was placed in handcuffs and put in the back of the trooper's car. Somehow, the UHP said, the man managed to get out of the patrol car and flee while officers were searching his vehicle.

"When they come back, the man is gone," Roden said. "They started a search, called out the helicopter."

After a couple of hours, the search was called off. Police said they have the California man's name and will pursue leads that may help track him down.

The woman who was driving the car was not arrested, Roden said, because authorities at this point do not believe she knew about any drugs in the car.

Copyright 2008 The Deseret Morning News

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