Traffic Stop Leads to Manhunt and Arrest in Emery County

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Emery County Sheriff’s Office Press Release

At 1:48 a.m. on Tuesday, Emery County Sheriff’s Office Dispatch received a call from a motorist on I-70 stating that a vehicle was traveling westbound in the eastbound lanes. An ECSO deputy responded and made contact with the driver of a maroon four-door car at milepost 152.

After brief questioning, the driver identified himself as 22-year-old Dustin Adam Gunther, but stated that he did not have identification with him. Gunther was asked to turn the vehicle around and pull up in front of the deputy’s vehicle. Gunther turned the vehicle around and accelerated away eastbound on I-70. A pursuit followed, and Gunther’s speed on radar was 125 MPH in an 80 MPH zone. Gunther was driving erratically, crossing lanes and repeatedly turning the headlights off and on. Due to concerns for public safety, the deputy terminated pursuit. A Utah Highway Patrol trooper had set up spikes at milepost 160, but the suspect vehicle did not pass that location.

The UHP trooper and ECSO deputy then started up SR-6 in an attempt to locate the vehicle. The trooper noticed a maroon four-door car that was repeatedly turning headlights off and on and began pursuit. The suspect vehicle was repeatedly weaving into the oncoming traffic lane and for this reason, the trooper terminated pursuit. The ECSO deputy turned off his emergency equipment, but continued westbound on SR-6.

At milepost 288 on SR-6, the deputy noticed a lot of dust and saw the maroon car has crashed off the west side of the road. After calling for the trooper as backup, the deputy pulled off the side of the road with his lights on the car. He recognized the driver that he had spoken with earlier and saw the suspect jump out of the car and run west. The deputy issued verbal commands to stop, but Gunther ignored the commands. For safety reasons, the deputy did not pursue the suspect on foot, but waited for backup from other agencies. Agencies assisting were additional personnel from Emery County Sheriff’s Office, Carbon County Sheriff’s Office, Carbon County Ambulance, Grand County Sheriff’s Office, Utah Highway Patrol and the DPS helicopter.

A check of the vehicle showed that it was stolen and listed NCIC, and that there was a 9mm handgun and 10-13 rounds of ammunition in the vehicle at the time it was stolen.

The DPS helicopter began a night search of the area using FLIR equipment and ground personnel began their search for Gunther at daybreak. During the manhunt, a call came in from a motorist on SR-6 stating that he saw a white male walking near the railroad tracks on the west side of SR-6. Two personnel from ECSO responded to that location and took the suspect into custody. The initial responding deputy identified the individual as the same person he had spoken with earlier on I-70.

The suspect was transported to the Emery County Jail at 8:15 a.m., where he is being held on two counts of felony fleeing, speeding 125/80, driving on revoked license, reckless driving, possession of controlled substance (meth), damaging place of confinement, possession of stolen firearm and possession of stolen vehicle.

The investigation is ongoing and other charges are pending.

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