A Disturbance of the Peace

It was an interesting night at our house last evening. The interesting part began when we left for the gym at about 9:30. As we were driving towards the gym, visit we passed a number of police squad cards spread out on various streets, all with their police lights on. On one corner we passed a Murray police car; on another a Midvale police car, and on another a Sandy police car. They didn’t seem to have anybody pulled over, and we thought it was curious but didn’t think too much about it.

At the gym, I watched television until the news came on. KSL 5’s leading story was “breaking news” about a police chase at 800 E and 7800 South in Midvale, where the suspect had run from his car and was on the loose. (It should be noted that the address given on the news was about 5 blocks from our house.) The suspect was considered to be “armed and dangerous.”

Before we left the gym, the news was reporting that the search “had been called off.” As we drove down 7800 South towards our house, we noticed that we couldn’t see any more police cars. In fact, it seemed that the police had given up on the chase. As we turned down our poorly-lit street, Christina commented about how our street “would be a great hiding place, since it is so dark and there are so many great places to hide.” Even better, we realized, would be our private lane: lots of trees, a big field.

So, if we weren’t totally freaked out yet, when we pulled in to our driveway, our neighbor from two doors down walked over to tell us about the story, and added some information that hadn’t been reported on the news: the suspect had been on our private lane earlier in the evening, looking to rent the house directly across the lane from where we live. Through the course of the conversation, he showed our neighbor at least one loaded pistol.

Basically, our neighbor told us the following story:

About five o’clock, a guy in a pickup truck with a blown-out back window drove down the lane, and parked in front of the rental house. He looked at it for a couple of minutes, and then turned around and drove back down the lane, stopping in front of the next house. He looked around at the houses, and then pulled forward one house and looked around again. Our neighbor walked up to him and asked, “Can I help you? Are you looking for something?”

The man replied that he was looking for a place to rent. He said that his truck had been broken into the night before (thus the blown out back window), and he was recently divorced and was looking for a new place to live. He asked about the neighborhood; if it was a quiet place. He asked about crime in the area, and then he asked a couple of weird questions. He asked if it was a neighborhood where people locked their doors (our neighbor thankfully said “yes”), and asked if there were any dogs around.

Our neighbor replied that there _are_ a bunch of dogs in the area, and pointed out the field across the street where he keeps his dogs. Then he told the man the story about how a couple of years ago, a police chase had ended on our street, with the suspect jumping out of the car and running into the field. As he ran into the field, he ran across Duke, a big, mean dog (who, incidentally, no longer lives there). Duke attacked the suspect, and wouldn’t let up until the police found the dog’s owner. That suspect reportedly needed over 200 stitches because of the dog attack.

The man in the truck then asked if people on the street were into sports or hunting. The two of them talked a little bit about the duck hunt, and then the man in the truck offered to sell my neighbor a gun. My neighbor asked, “What do you have?” The man produced a $400-$500 fully-loaded pistol, said he bought it for one hundred dollars and offered to sell it for fifty dollars.

Feeling that something wasn’t right, my neighbor turned him down, and the man drove away.

After telling Christina and me this story, he offered to let us borrow one of _his_ pistols to protect ourselves in case the man came back down our street in order to hide from the police. I thanked him, but said, “I don’t think I have it in me to _use_ it, so I probably don’t want it.”

We went in our house and locked our doors. I didn’t feel totally comfortable spending the night in our house, so we decided that we would go up to my parents’ house and spend the night. I called my parents to tell them we were coming.

While I was on the phone with my mom, the news came back with an update saying that the suspect was in custody. (Whew! What a relief!) He had been caught about 5.5 blocks from our house in somebody’s garage.

I breathed a sigh of relief, and went to bed. That is way too much excitement for a quiet street such as ours. We haven’t had this much late-evening excitement since the fire!

Related News links:

KSL News
Deseret Morning News

4 responses to “A Disturbance of the Peace”

  1. I saw that in the news last night and wondered if you guys were okay. I knew it was real close to where you guys lived. I almost called, but you would have been gone (it was about 9:45).

    Glad to know your safe, and even more glad that Courtney and I did not move to that street back in April. I’m sure it’s a lovely place (and we did like it), but I hate to think what would have happened if Courtney had been there alone (which she would have since I don’t come home until 6:30 or later on Tuesdays). Yes, I’m grateful we didn’t move in.

  2. Well, now that I think about it, it turns out that the house you would have moved into is the house where this neighbor lived.

    And you might suppose that it was this neighbor’s presence and story about the dog that scared the suspect away from our street.

    Hmmm… You may have a point. 😀

  3. Yeah, hopefully my comment didn’t make it sound like you live in a “bad” place, because Courtney and I felt and feel very comfortable there. Just in this case, I’m very glad that we didn’t live there since Courtney would have been home alone. That’s just not worth it.

    Who knows, the possibility still exists that we’ll end up in Salt Lake and both Courtney and I have always considered your street as our first choice (if we don’t buy a house).

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