Neighbor detains armed robbery suspect who escaped from hospital

Apr 2, 2022, 1:12 PM | Updated: Jun 20, 2022, 12:36 pm

MILLCREEK, Utah — As police began to search for an armed robbery suspect who escaped from St. Mark’s Hospital late Wednesday, Jayden Rackley was already asleep.

That was until his girlfriend woke him up to tell him she thought someone was in the backyard.

“So I was just looking out this window and that’s where he was — over there in that corner,” Rackley referenced toward a wooden fence during an interview Friday with KSL TV.

Rackley didn’t know who he was looking at, but officers did.

On Wednesday, police said 29-year-old Denzel Tramel Swinton robbed another man at gunpoint in the parking lot of a Midvale sporting goods store.

According to a probable cause statement, Swinton was recorded by a dash camera having a conversation with the man about his firearm when Swinton pulled out his own gun and pointed it at the man, demanding that he hand over his gun.

Officers wrote that Swinton returned to his car and then got back out and pointed his gun at the man again, demanding the magazine for the other firearm.

When Swinton drove off, jail documents stated that the man followed Swinton, got a vehicle description and direction of travel and officers were later able to spot the vehicle, pull it over and arrest Swinton.

According to Unified police, Swinton wound up at St. Mark’s Hospital to be treated for undisclosed reasons. Somehow, police said, he was able to escape in handcuffs.

Rackley said he spotted the man later identified as Swinton still handcuffed and attempting to conceal himself in Rackley’s backyard behind a shed and fence.

He said he grabbed his handgun from a holster and headed outside.

“I was like, ‘You’re surrounded!’” Rackley recalled. “I was like, ‘Show me your hands,’ and he was like, ‘Oh I can’t, I’m in handcuffs,’ and I was like, ‘Well, it kind of looks like you’re in a situation now.’”

He said Swinton had apparently tried to “bury himself” with items in the yard and get as low as he could.

“He’s like, ‘I told them it was the last time, it was the last time, but can you cut the cuffs off, can you cut the cuffs off?’” Rackley remembered from the interaction. “When I told him no, he got a little, like, agitated and when he saw the cops getting closer around the corner, he wanted to come inside.”

Rackley said Swinton didn’t quite make it up the back steps.

“He fell right here and ripped his shorts,” Rackley chuckled. “That didn’t happen.”

He said officers were quickly onto the escapee, taking him into custody.

Police said Swinton was going to be booked on suspicion of escaping as well as aggravated robbery and possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person after the alleged robbery earlier Wednesday.

Rackley was grateful the situation was finally over.

“It was just like, ‘alright, I can try to go to bed now,’” he chuckled. “It is what it is.”

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Neighbor detains armed robbery suspect who escaped from hospital