Mona residents say large police presence sought Santaquin suspect

May 7, 2024, 7:08 AM

MONA, Juab County — In the hours after police said an officer was intentionally hit and killed on Interstate 15 in Santaquin Sunday, law enforcement saturated the small agricultural community of Mona.

“I’ve never seen anything like that here,” said longtime resident Wyatt Newton.

Newton said he was up early for church and saw a “cop car at every intersection.”

“I could see a semi was pulled in here to our yard that didn’t belong there,” Newton told KSL TV. “He whipped right in from Main Street right there, came through and about hit some of the equipment right here.”

He subsequently learned through reports that the semi had been stolen from a gas station in Santaquin and that someone’s truck had been stolen about a block away.

Meanwhile, officers in tactical gear were going through neighborhoods to determine whether the suspect was still in the area.

SWAT officers are seen searching for Michael Jayne in Mona, Utah, on May 5, 2024. (Photo courtesy: Bryce and Selena Chappell)

“It was very scary,” said Andy Rosquist, who was working at the Good2Go convenience store just off I-15.

He said police crowded into the parking lot there almost as if it was a staging area.

“There were about 20 police cars and there were also SWAT (officers) and they were there the majority of the day,” Rosquist said. “I was really nervous but I felt better because of the police presence that was there.”

Eventually, neighbors learned the suspect, identified by law enforcement as 42-year-old Michael Aaron Jayne, had gone on to allegedly steal another vehicle in Mount Pleasant before he was ultimately apprehended in a pursuit near Vernal.

By Monday evening, the owners of the truck that had been stolen from Mona told KSL TV they had it towed back from Mount Pleasant and they were grateful for the efforts of law enforcement to keep their community safe.

The stolen truck was returned to Mona on Monday. (Andrew Adams, KSL TV)

Community members offered their condolences over the loss of Santaquin Police Sgt. Bill Hooser.

“Yeah, that’s just terrible,” Newton said. “That’s unimaginable to have something like that happen.”

Family calls Sgt. Hooser a hero saying he died doing what he loved

KSL 5 TV Live

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Mona residents say large police presence sought Santaquin suspect