ST. GEORGE — A Southern California man is in custody following a multi-agency pursuit from Southern Parkway in St. George to a remote area near the Mount Trumble Loop in Mohave County, Arizona, over the weekend.

Rear tires of a stolen pickup truck are completely destroyed after the driver continued to flee on tires hit with spike strips during pursuit into Mohave County, Ariz., Nov. 18, 2023 | Submitted photo, St. George News

Mohave County Sheriff’s Office Public Safety Supervisor  Jody Schanaman said in a statement Monday that shortly after 12:35 p.m. on Saturday, deputies in Mohave County were notified of a pursuit involving a man suspected of unlawful flight from St. George Police officers earlier that same day. 

Officers had responded to what was initially reported as a disorderly call near one of the hotels off Exit 2 in Sun River. They responded and spotted a suspect fleeing from the area in a black pickup truck.

The officers attempted to stop the suspect who was driving a stolen black pickup truck, and when the suspect reportedly failed to pull over, officers pursued the suspect. The Mohave County Sheriff’s Office became involved as the chase crossed into Arizona. 

Officers pursued the vehicle heading east along Southern Parkway and exited heading south on one of the access roads in the direction of the Mt. Trumble Loop, a remote area several miles south of the St. George Regional Airport, where officers deployed a set of spike strips that struck two the pickup’s rear tires.

The pickup continued south while the Department of Public Safety launched a helicopter to assist in the search, during which the flight crew kept eyes on the suspect and updated the ground units on the truck’s location as the chase continued, which was confirmed by Sgt. Cameron Roden with the Utah Highway Patrol on Monday.

Meanwhile, the suspect continued to drive on the shredded rear tires that disintegrated to the point that it left the pickup disabled, after which, the suspect reportedly entered an area heavily traveled by all-terrain vehicles and reportedly carjacked one of the off-road vehicles to continue south.

That off-road vehicle was owned by State Sen. Don Ipson, who told St. George News he was riding in the area with his son and his teenage grandson at the time of the incident. He also said that after the suspect was unable to continue in the disabled pickup truck, the man approached Ipson’s off-road vehicle and ordered all three occupants out of the ATV.

At that point, Ipson said he was able to get his son and his grandson out safely, and then the suspect “ordered and kind of drug me out,” of the vehicle, he said.

Shortly thereafter, the suspect crashed through a fence and then continued down a deep ravine, disabling the ATV, and when the suspect attempted to flee on foot, he was arrested by officers minutes later.

Following the incident, Ipson said they were not injured during the encounter, “so everything turned out OK and we are fine.”

In the Mohave County statement, the suspect was later identified as 31-year-old Pablo Ramirez, of Ontario, California, and he was taken into custody by units from both St. George and Mohave County.

Suspect is taken into custody by officers from St. George and Mohave County Sheriff’s deputies following 45 mile pursuit from St. George to Mohave County, Ariz., Nov. 18, 2023 | Reader submitted photo, St. George News

Ramirez was transported to Washington County and booked into jail facing multiple charges in both states.

According to information sent to St. George News from a reader who preferred to remain anonymous, they were in a large group heading north back towards St. George just north of the Mt. Trumble schoolhouse in multiple vehicles. They were unaware of the pursuit unfolding in the area when they encountered the pickup truck swerving across the road coming towards them.

The truck, the reader wrote, was coming at them “at a high rate of speed,” and when the suspect regained control of the pickup, several in the group pulled up beside the pickup to “see if he was OK,” which is when the suspect reportedly asked if they could help him change a tire.

Before they could do anything else, the reader wrote, they could hear the helicopter crew yell through a loudspeaker from overhead, telling them to keep going, which they did.

In Mohave County, the suspect faces two second-degree felony counts of attempted robbery, two third-degree felony counts of theft of means of transportation and one fifth-degree felony count of unlawful flight. Any information on the potential charges that Ramirez may face in Utah was not available at the time of this report.

The suspect remains in custody in Washington County on a hold issued by authorities in Mohave County.

The St. George Police Department, the Mohave County Sheriff’s Office and the Utah Department of Public Safety responded to the incident.

This report is based on statements from court records, police or other responders and may not contain the full scope of findings. Persons arrested or charged are presumed innocent until found guilty in a court of law or as otherwise decided by a trier-of-fact.

Photo Gallery  

Copyright St. George News, LLC, 2023, all rights reserved.