Harry Houdini would be proud.
A 35-year-old man handcuffed and left in the back of a police cruiser Saturday somehow managed to slip his cuffs, squeeze through a small opening in a partition and disappear by stealing the car -- leading officers on a chase by vehicle and foot that resulted in his capture hours later.
Gordon Graham, who told officers he lives in Saratoga Springs, was booked into Weber County Jail on suspicion of aggravated assault, possession of a stolen vehicle, possession of stolen property, possession of stolen credit cards, retail theft and possession of drug paraphernalia, said Riverdale Police Lt. James Ebert.
"... We will file charges," Ebert said.
Ebert said the incident began around 9:40 a.m., when police officers were called to the Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft Store, 4978 S. 1050 West in Riverdale, on a possible intoxicated male and female.
"Officers arrived and did see them stumbling around -- they appeared high on drugs or intoxicated," Ebert said.
The vehicle, which officers noted was "full of garbage," also contained stereos, tools and other items consistent with possible stolen goods, Ebert said. They also noticed what appeared to be drug paraphernalia in the vehicle, which turned out to be stolen.
At that point, officers handcuffed Graham and put him in the back of a Dodge Charger police cruiser.
In the process of searching Graham's vehicle, Ebert said, officers found more drug paraphernalia associated with the use of heroin.
And here's where things got interesting.
When one of the officers went back to check on Graham, he complained that it was hot in the vehicle, so the officer opened the sliding window between the back and front seats.
You can probably guess the rest.
"Somehow he was able to get out of the handcuffs, or get them in front of him, and slide through the window," Ebert said, noting that the man was not wearing handcuffs when he was apprehended after the chase. "He then put the car in drive and drove away."
Driving away involved almost hitting one of the officers and going over a 4- or 5-foot berm in the parking lot, Ebert said. One officer fired one shot at the vehicle in an attempt to stop it; officers then retreated to the other police vehicle to follow the suspect.
"They had to go around the backside of the parking lot, and by the time they got out to the street, they'd lost him," Ebert said.
The suspect was then spotted in the Clinton-Roy area, where he abandoned the police car.
Attempts to locate Graham involved a number of other agencies, including the Davis County Sheriff's Office, Sunset police and Clinton police.
Following an unsuccessful search that lasted 1 1/2 to 2 hours, Ebert said they finally decided to clear the scene and release the other agencies that had been called on to help. But then, a half-hour later, someone spotted a man matching the description, and police were able to capture him.
Clinton Police Lt. Dave Valentine said that Graham, after ditching the police car, flagged down an older woman who did not know he was evading police. She gave Graham a ride in her van to his girlfriend's house, near 1300 North in Clinton. When the man left the house, police spotted him, resulting in his arrest.
After police caught him, Graham complained of an ankle injury, so he was taken to McKay-Dee Hospital in Ogden for treatment. As he was loaded into the ambulance, he announced to news media who had gathered at the scene, "It's what drugs get you, guys."
The woman Graham was with when police originally arrested him, identified as Celeste Hart, 28, was also booked into Weber County Jail. She's suspected of possession of stolen property and possession of drug paraphernalia.
Ebert said there will be an investigation of the officer who shot at the car, and the officer was placed on paid administrative leave, as per standard procedure. He also said he's curious as to how the suspect pulled that whole Houdini routine with the handcuffs.
"At this point, we haven't talked to him," he said. "So we're not sure how he got out of the handcuffs."
Standard-Examiner reporter Bubba Brown and photographer Reynaldo Leal contributed to this article.