Fleeing man tried to hide from police by breaking into homes, officers say

Published: Wednesday, May 1 2013 3:50 p.m. MDT

WEST POINT — Tammy Lawyer hadn't been home more than five minutes Wednesday when she noticed police cars swarming onto her street.

She peeked through the blinds to see what was happening. Initially, however, she didn't think much about it all until a man came out from her son's room in the basement and up the staircase.

"He was pretty desperate, like panicked. 'Ma'am, ma'am, please help me. My friend just got in a wreck. Ma'am, ma'am, please.' He just kept kind of saying that over and over. I just said, 'Get out of my house, get out of my house,'" Lawyer said.

She didn't buy the man's story and, in one movement, grabbed him, threw him out the door that led to the garage and locked the door behind him.

"I had no desire whatsoever to help him. I mean, he was coming from my son's room. I knew immediately this was someone who had broke in," she said. "I'm just surprised I could think as fast as I did. Intuition just kicks in. I wanted him out of my house as fast as possible — even with lack of sleep and coming off a graveyard shift. It just happened really fast."

Once outside, a pair of off-duty firefighters working in their yard spotted the wanted man, chased him down and cornered him until police arrived. Nathan Langlais, 26, was arrested and booked into the Davis County Jail.

The wild incident began about 9 a.m. Wednesday when a deputy attempted to make a traffic stop, said Davis County Sheriff's Sgt. Susan Poulsen.

The man refused to pull over and a short car chase ensued, reaching high rates of speed through a residential area, she said. The chase ended when Langlais crashed into a curb and ran off.

For the next several hours, officers surrounded the area of 1600 West and 25 North looking for the suspect. But he entered at least four homes through windows and unlocked doors, making contact with three of the residents while trying to hide, Poulsen said.

"No one says anything about him being violent. He just asked for them not to call the police," she said.

Nevertheless, Poulsen said, "He scared this neighborhood pretty bad."

Lawyer concurred that Langlais never threatened her but still caused her a lot of concern. "My sense was he was desperate. But my intuition was he could turn on me at any moment," she said.

Utah state court records show Langlais has an extensive criminal history with numerous arrests and charges for driving on a suspended license and retail theft. Most recently, he was arrested on March 14, March 29 and March 31 for investigation of driving on a suspended license, according to court records. All three cases were pending Wednesday in court.

Langlais was convicted of shoplifting twice in April of 2008 and again in 2009, avoiding apprehension in 2009, and felony drug possession in 2011, according to court records.

Email: preavy@deseretnews.com

Twitter: DNewsCrimeTeam

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