Police search for 2 men after women escape from basement

AP News
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Posted: May 11, 2016 7:42 PM
Police search for 2 men after women escape from basement

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Utah police are searching for two suspects after a woman and her four teenage daughters were lured to a house and tied up in a basement before they managed to escape, authorities said Wednesday.

A father and son armed with a shotgun and a baseball bat brought the five to a room where they tied them up with duct tape and zip ties Tuesday night, said Centerville police Lt. Von Steenblik.

Flint Wayne Harrison, 51, and Dereck James Harrison, 22, had invited the women to the house for a barbecue as part of a plan to retaliate against the mother, investigators said. She has a connection the younger suspect that's believed to involve drugs, police said.

When they arrived, the men invited them downstairs, where strips of duct tape and zip ties were lined up on the ground, according to charging documents.

The men ordered the women to get on the ground, took their phones and bound their hands and feet, the documents said. They put a bag over the mother's head.

The girls managed to escape their bonds while the men beat the mother with a baseball bat. Some of the teens were also struck by the bat after they broke free. All five women ran screaming from the house and called police.

"It could have gone really bad," Steenblik said. "Without the girls breaking free and getting loose, I'm not sure what they were going to do."

Investigators found methamphetamine in the house and relatives told police the men had been using drugs heavily over the last few days, police said.

Police say the kidnapping attempt was reported about 6 p.m. Tuesday and they began working the case then, but didn't issue a news release until Wednesday morning because they don't believe the men are a danger to the general public.

Flint Harrison's wife told police that he doesn't want to go to prison, intends to shoot officers and "go out in a blaze of glory," according to charging documents.

The mother and one daughter were treated at a hospital for their injuries.

The daughters range from 13 to 18 years old, and appear to be recovering well, Steenblik said.

"All four of those girls were pretty resilient and very helpful to us," he said. During the struggle, one girl managed to get a hold of the bat and hit one of the attackers, and another slapped the shotgun away when it was pointed at her throat, court documents state.

The men drove away in a Chevrolet Suburban with Wyoming plates. Police say Flint Harrison lives there and the men have other ties to the state. He's on the Wyoming sex offender registry because of an attempted forcible sexual abuse conviction from Utah in 2001, records show.

Flint Harrison and DJ Harrison were charged Wednesday with 16 counts, including aggravated kidnapping and possession of a controlled substance.

The Associated Press sought comment from the suspects, but phone numbers listed for the father were disconnected and no number was listed for the son.