Suspect in robbery, chase also attempted second escape, police say
Scott G Winterton, Deseret News
AMERICAN FORK — A man who robbed a Wal-Mart at knife point and led officers on a high-speed chase Monday before crashing in spectacular fashion in Sandy wasn't done causing trouble even after his arrest, police said Tuesday.
Ramen Q. Powell, 27, was arrested for investigation of aggravated robbery, theft, evading and four counts of aggravated assault.
Monday morning, police say Powell went to Wal-Mart, 949 W, Grassland Drive in American Fork, loaded a shopping cart with expensive electronic items including flat-screen TVs, and then walked out the door. Powell used a knife to slash at an employee who tried to stop him, according to police. The employee was not hurt and called police rather than continue to confront him.
Responding officers spotted Powell and a chase ensued. Four times during the pursuit, Powell attempted to hit police officers or their vehicles with his car, according to investigators.
The chase ended in Sandy at the 9000 South off-ramp of I-15 when Powell hit a cement divider, launching his Cadillac into the air and landing in the bed of a nearby pickup truck stopped at the light.
But American Fork Police Lt. Sam Liddiard said Powell wasn't done yet.
Powell was taken to the American Fork Police Department for questioning before being booked into the Utah County Jail. While he was alone in a room at the police department and thought he wasn't being watched, Powell tried to escape, Liddiard said.
"He pushed a table into the corner of the room, stacked a chair on top of the desk and got into the false ceiling," he said.
Powell removed tiles to try to crawl into the ceiling. But one officer was watching through video surveillance and another outside the room could hear the noise he was creating, according to a police affidavit.
The officers went into the interview room to find Powell still trying to get into the ceiling by standing on a chair. Police added attempting to escape and damaging a holding cell to a list of potential charges they will seek.
A woman who was with Powell during the chase was held for observation in a local hospital Monday night. Her name was not immediately available. She is expected to be booked into jail after she is released from the hospital.
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