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Ogden chase leads to 5 arrests

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OGDEN — Five men were arrested Saturday — including a man on parole for a gang-related stabbing — following a short police chase.

A Utah Highway Patrol trooper pulled over a vehicle near 2300 Madison Ave. just before midnight on Friday. "As the trooper tapped on the window of the car, the driver stepped on the accelerator and drove off," said UHP Sgt. Ellis Alexander.

The trooper chased the vehicle for about five blocks before losing sight of the car. Officers later located the vehicle abandoned in an Ogden neighborhood.

Witnesses told investigators that two men jumped out of the vehicle and ran into an apartment at 144 Dan St. in Ogden. After receiving no response from inside, police obtained a search warrant. Officers announced over a loud speaker that they had a warrant to search the apartment, but the occupants inside still did not respond.

"They kicked in the front door and methodically began to clear the apartment," Alexander said.

Five men — all gang members — were located inside. The two men suspected of fleeing were identified as Jose Montes, 33, and Caesar Rodriguez, 20. Both were on parole — Rodriguez had served time for an aggravated assault and Montes for assault, according to court records.

Rodriguez was 16 when he was charged with attempted murder in a gang-related stabbing of a 14-year-old boy in January 2005. He later pleaded guilty to a reduced charge.

UHP trooper Chad Jensen said the men had an open container of alcohol in the vehicle and fled because they were in violation of parole. Investigators were able to match the batch numbers on the can to others in the refrigerator of the apartment that was searched, Alexander said.

Rodriguez and the three other men inside the apartment were all cited for interfering with arrest, and Montes was booked into jail on investigation of parole violation, evading, interfering with arrest and avoiding apprehension.

— Lana Groves