7/22/23 Salt Lake City, UT – Man Arrested On Outstanding Warrant Dislocates His Thumb To Get Out Of Handcuffs – Steals UTAH HIGHWAY PATROL CAR – Drives Wrong Way On Highway – Ditches Patrol Car – Helicopter Used – Found In Homeless Camp
July 22, 2023
A man allegedly dislocated his thumb, escaped handcuffs, and stole a Utah Highway Patrol cruiser after being arrested at a gas station in Salt Lake City on Thursday, July 20.
Alexander Elvira Martinez, 24, faces charges of receive or transfer of a stolen vehicle (second-degree felony), failure to stop at command of police (third-degree felony), possession of a dangerous weapon by a restricted person (second-degree felony), escape from official custody (third-degree felony), among multiple other traffic and drug-related charges.
At around 5:15 p.m., a UHP trooper arrested Martinez at the Maverik gas station at 400 South and Redwood Rd. for an outstanding warrant.
Court documents state that Martinez was placed in the back of a patrol vehicle that did not have a prisoner cage installed.
After conducting a vehicle search and finding drug paraphernalia, the trooper began filling out forms to be given to a tow truck driver. While doing so, Martinez allegedly dislocated his right thumb and “slipped the right handcuff,” the affidavit states.
Martinez reportedly then jumped into the driver’s seat of the UHP cruiser and drove away, stealing the car.
The affidavit states that Martinez drove onto Redwood Rd. heading the wrong way in the northbound lanes. He then turned left onto 500 South and headed east, running through multiple stop signs on Cheyenne St., Navajo St., and Concord St., according to the affidavit.
After making his way down Emery St., Martinez allegedly stopped and ditched the vehicle. “From my dash camera, you can see Martinez run in a northeast direction towards the river,” UHP stated.
Authorities set up containment and called in a Dept. of Public Safety helicopter to search for Martinez. Shortly before 7 p.m., Martinez was reportedly found in a homeless camp in the area of 1000 West and Folsom Ave.
Martinez had a syringe filled with heroin in his possession at the time of his arrest, the affidavit states.
In talking with troopers, Martinez allegedly said that he was not trying to steal a vehicle, but that he did not want to be in jail as he was going to be “dope sick.”
He was booked into the Salt Lake County Jail on the charges previously stated.