A father and son were arrested on felony charges for kidnapping and beating a mother and her four teenage daughters in Centerville, Utah, following a massive manhunt.
Police arrested Dereck “D.J.” Harrison, 22, and Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, on charges that include aggravated kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance, the Associated Press reported.
The two allegedly entrapped the woman and her daughters – ages 13 through 18 – by inviting them to a Centerville home on Tuesday for a barbecue, KSL.com reported. The younger Harrison had known the family for several years. He often drove her daughters home from school and had dinner at their home.
“The motive appears to be retaliation on the mother. The exact reason is still under investigation,” Centerville police said in a prepared statement.
Both men falsely believed the woman had turned them into police for something they had done. But she did not, according to reports. The Harrisons had reportedly become “paranoid” after using methamphetamine for several days. They then decided to capture the family.
After allegedly luring them to the home north of Salt Lake City, the Harrisons tied the family up with wire and duct tape in the basement, according to a report aired on WGRZ-TV in Buffalo, New York. Then, the mother and her daughters were assaulted with a baseball bat as they attempted to free themselves.
But, they fought back and were able to escape.
At one point, one of the daughters “slapped away a shotgun pointed at her throat,” the Associated Press reported. One of her siblings was able to grab the baseball bat and hit the son.
The mother and her daughters were able to break away and call 911 after the suspects fled, Centerville police reported. One daughter and the mother had to be taken to a hospital for treatment.
The younger Harrison was taken into custody Saturday night in Pinedale, Wyoming, after a day-long manhunt involving multiple police agencies, according to a report from the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office.
Harrison’s father had surrendered earlier in the day and later helped authorities find his son by describing his location.
“Shortly before dusk, ground teams located a makeshift campsite with gear that had been reported as being in the possession of Dereck,” the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office wrote on its Facebook page.
“Dereck, who had been reported to have very little camping gear and adequate clothing for spending any significant length of time in the backcountry, was also reported to be in possession of two knives, a.300 win mag rifle and a.22 Remington 10/22 rifle,” the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office wrote. “It was also reported that he had several high capacity magazines. Additionally, he had made several threats against law enforcement officials.”
In addition to ground crews, the Utah Department of Public Safety was able to send a helicopter equipped with a Forward Looking Infrared (FLIR) system. The helicopter was able to fly over the area for much of the afternoon before weather grounded the aircraft.”
Although the younger Harrison was considered extremely dangerous, he was taken into custody on Saturday without incident.
About 2,000 residents, including campers at a Pinedale campground, were told by police to stay indoors as the manhunt ensued. Authorities told residents they were searching for a man wanted in connection with a kidnapping and assault.
In addition to the Sublette County Sheriff’s Office, the Sweetwater County Sheriff’s Office, Wyoming Highway Patrol, Green River Police Department, Rock Springs Police Department, Utah Department of Public Safety, U.S. Marshalls Service and the U.S. Forest Service were involved in the investigation.
Derrick Harrison’s mother, MaryAnn Harrison, told KSL.com, “He would never hurt this family. This is a family that we love.”
The Wyoming Division of Criminal Investigation revealed the elder Harrison was previously registered as a sex offender in Pinedale for attempting a forced sexual assault.
[Photos by Centerville Police via AP Images]