Weber County Deputies Arrest Kidnapping Suspect After Multiple Pursuits

Dec 7, 2018, 8:57 PM | Updated: 10:56 pm

WEBER COUNTY, Utah — A man was arrested early Friday after investigators said he kidnapped a woman and then led deputies and officers on multiple pursuits that wound from Ogden Canyon to the Liberty area and back to North Ogden.

Kenley Lemaster, 28, was booked on suspicion of kidnapping as well as DUI and evading police, according to Weber County Sheriff’s Lt. Cortney Ryan.

“It was a fantastic job by all the officers involved,” Ryan said. “It’s a great ending to, you know, kind of a tragic situation that had a lot of potential to go really bad.”

Ryan said the chain of events began in Salt Lake City, when Lemaster and the woman, who had never met Lemaster prior to Thursday — were left in a car together by a mutual friend.

“That friend went into a store, and he took off in the car with her in the car with him and wouldn’t let her out,” Ryan said.

Deputies said around 4 a.m., dispatchers received a 911 call from the woman, who said she was traveling in the car and had been kidnapped.

The woman wasn’t familiar with the area and did not have a vehicle description or suspect information, according to investigators, but dispatchers were able to track the phone to a location in Ogden Canyon.

“One of our deputies that was coming westbound down the canyon passed a vehicle that was headed eastbound, and the timeframe kind of matched up to where the phone’s location was given the time that it traveled,” Ryan explained. “He turned around on the vehicle and attempted to make an investigative stop on that vehicle, at which point the vehicle accelerated and evaded his attempts to stop.”

Ryan said the pursuit approached Eden and Liberty before winding back to North Ogden.

During that time, deputies said the woman appeared to attempt to bail out of the vehicle multiple times.

“I just had somebody try to attempt to open a passenger front door,” one deputy could be heard in a recording of police radio chatter.

“Just had somebody attempt to jump out!” the voice came back again about 30 seconds later.

Ryan said deputies decided to back off on the pursuit for fear of the woman’s safety.

“Let’s, uh, terminate because if she’s jumping out, I don’t want her jumping out at 75,” another deputy could be heard saying during the chatter.

Ryan said North Ogden Police officers located and re-engaged the car at the North Ogden Divide, pursuing it until it eventually crashed in the area of 3900 N. 450 E.

“Nobody was injured in the crash, no officers were hurt in the pursuits, nobody was injured throughout this whole process — so that’s a good thing in a case like this with a lot of potential to go really bad,” Ryan said.

Ryan said the woman had claimed that the man was armed, but police found no weapon on Lemaster or inside the car.

A search of court records showed Lemaster has prior convictions for attempted theft, burglary of a vehicle, possession or use of a controlled substance, giving false identity to a peace officer, disorderly conduct and intoxication.

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Weber County Deputies Arrest Kidnapping Suspect After Multiple Pursuits