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Police: Man leads officers on chase through 3 southern Utah cities

WASHINGTON — A man is in custody after a police chase that spanned three cities in southern Utah Monday, according to the Washington City Police Department.

About 5:30 p.m., police received calls of a reckless driver in Toquerville, Washington County. When officers attempted to stop the car, they were unable to because of its "high rate of speed and reckless driving pattern," the department said in a press release.

Shawn Offret, 50, from Washington City, was ultimately taken into custody after allegedly leading police on a chase through Hurricane, Washington City and St. George.

During the chase, Offret's vehicle collided with another vehicle, leaving an elderly woman with minor injuries, according to the release.

After the collision, Offret's vehicle continued onto northbound I-15 going the wrong direction.

"Pursuing officers discontinued the pursuit at this time. Washington City officers began to slow traffic traveling northbound to prevent a collision," the department said.

Offret then made it to a relative's home in Coral Canyon in Washington City, where he allegedly "gained unlawful access," stole prescription medication and a "large knife" and burglarized a vehicle at the home, according to the police department.

When police again located Offret and he continued ignoring orders to stop, officers used a spike strip, which deflated one of Offret's tires. The vehicle continued, however, onto Telegraph Street into oncoming traffic, ignoring traffic lights, police said.

Offret finally stopped in the parking lot of a shopping center on Red Cliffs Drive in St. George, police said, and exited his vehicle but left it in drive in the path of pedestrians.

"A Washington City officer positioned his vehicle in front of the suspect vehicle and stopped it," the release stated. The officer's vehicle sustained some damage, Washington City Police Lt. Jason Williams said.

Offret fled to a jewelry store, where police say he held the knife to his own neck threatening to harm himself. Officers managed to take Offret safely into custody.

Police said they found a 12-pack of alcoholic beverages in his vehicle, as well as several empty alcohol cans.

Offret was charged Tuesday in 5th District Court with burglary of a dwelling, a second-degree felony, and failure to stop or respond at command of police, a third-degree felony. He was also charged with driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, failure to remain at an accident involving injury, burglary of a vehicle and theft, all class A misdemeanors, as well as other misdemeanor charges.

According to court records, Offret has a criminal history in Utah, pleading guilty to unlawful sexual activity with a minor in 1995 and assault by a prisoner in 2000, both third-degree felonies.

Correction: A previous version incorrectly stated charges were filed against Shawn Offret on Monday. They were filed on Tuesday.