A Provo Police Department special response team stormed a southeast apartment Friday morning, taking into custody two jail inmates who had escaped from the county courthouse two hours earlier.
The eight-member team, armed with automatic weapons, broke down the front door of an apartment at the Villa Rose complex, 262 E. First South, at 10:14 a.m. after shooting two tear gas rounds through the apartment's rear windows.The inmates, who were scheduled for appearances in 4th District Court, ran from two Utah County deputy sheriffs after being unloaded from a van behind the courthouse at 7:50 a.m., said Capt. Jerry Scott.
Jed A. Mortensen, 21, was to be arraigned on a theft charge, and Robert T. Murray, 34, was being held on a federal arrest warrant and was facing a prison sentence because of parole violations. The men were shackled together but managed to flee two blocks east of the courthouse before breaking into an unoccupied apartment.
Provo Police Chief Swen Nielsen said police, expecting Murray to call a local girlfriend, put a wire tap on her line. Murray called shortly after the escape, and police officers and sheriff officials moved in to secure the area, Nielsen said.
He said authorities decided to storm the apartment after attempts to speak with the escapees proved fruitless.
"It was a good team effort all around," said Provo Police Lt. Michael Mock.