Police capture fleeing fugitive after shelter in place in Spanish Fork

Sep 12, 2022, 6:45 AM
Spanish Fork Police vehicle. (KSL TV)...
Spanish Fork Police vehicle. (KSL TV)

SPANISH FORK, Utah — Law enforcement caught a fleeing parole fugitive who was considered “armed and dangerous” after a shelter in place in Spanish Fork.

According to a release from the Spanish Fork Police Department, around 2:20 p.m. Sunday, a deputy with the Utah County Sheriff’s Office attempted a traffic stop for a registration violation near 2700 North Main Street in Spanish Fork.

The driver, however, refused to stop and fled further south into Spanish Fork.

The release states, “Because the violation was minor, the Deputy did not pursue the suspect.”

Spanish Fork Police once again saw the suspect in his vehicle when he refused to stop for a second time.

Later on, another deputy reported seeing the suspect on State Route 198 in Salem when the suspect turned around and fled east on 8800 South, heading toward Woodland Hills Drive.

He then turned onto a long dirt road and abandoned his vehicle for mechanical problems.

Deputies, and officers from Spanish Fork, Payson, and Salem Police Departments looked for the suspect and learned the driver was 44-year-old Joshua T. Martinez Sr. of Moroni, Utah.

The release states, “Martinez is known to be armed and dangerous and has threatened to try to get law enforcement officers to shoot him.”

The deputy requested dispatch to send a “reverse 911 call” to homes in the area where the pickup truck was abandoned to warn people of Martinez.

K-9’s and one of the pilots with the Sheriff’s Office were also deployed to help the search.

Just before 5 p.m., Martinez was found hiding in a small wooden shed under lawn mower bags and other items.

He was called out and surrendered to police.

The shelter in place was then cancelled.

According to the release, “In addition to having a Board of Pardons warrant as a wanted parole fugitive, Martinez was found to have a warrant for fleeing and other charges out of 4th District Court in Nephi with bail of $7,500.  He also had a warrant out of 4th District Court in Spanish Fork for vehicle burglary and theft with no bail.”

In addition to these previous warrants, Martinez was booked into jail for the following new charges: failure to respond to an officer’s signal to stop, driving under the influence, possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of methamphetamine, driving with a revoked driver license.

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Police capture fleeing fugitive after shelter in place in Spanish Fork