A wanted man’s struggle to evade police probably didn’t end the way he’d have wanted. Instead of slipping away from the cops, he was forced to tell them exactly where to find him when he got stuck inside a pit in a church basement.
Shane Paul Owen, 46, of South Salt Lake, Utah, was fleeing police after they located his car and began a chase late Monday night, according to ABC4 News. Owens had several active felony warrants, and when police disabled his car with a spike strip, he took off on foot, the station reported.
He made his way into a nearby abandoned church in Salt Lake City and entered a basement boiler room, pulling the door shut behind him. But when he turned around, he realized there was no handle on the inside and no way out, the Deseret News reported.
After more than six hours, SWAT teams had been called and Owens was still inside the church, the Deseret News reported. Officers tried to talk to him, but couldn’t get a response.
A phone call came through to 911 that changed things.
“This is Sean Owen, I want to turn myself in,” Owen told police dispatch in audio of the call obtained by KSL.com. “I want to turn myself in. They’ve had me tied up here all night.”
In the tape, Owens told the dispatcher that he was stuck at the bottom of a pit and wasn’t able to climb out, and he needed police to know that so they wouldn’t shoot him, according to the audio.
“Can you hurry up?” he asked the dispatcher before she patched him through to an officer at the scene.
Police were skeptical, Deseret News reported, but eventually entered the church with a robot to confirm that Owen didn’t have any weapons.
Officers and paramedics then came in, rescued Owen and took him into custody without incident, Fox 13 reported.
According to jail records, Owen was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail and charged with identity fraud, retaliation against a witness, use or possession of drug paraphernalia and possession of a controlled substance with intent to distribute.