A 39-year-old Wyoming man was arrested after a chaotic series of events, including attempting to run over an officer in a stolen Heyburn Police vehicle.
According to Idaho State Police (ISP), a trooper responded to a report of a hit-and-run collision between a 2006 Toyota Sequoia and a 2008 Ford F-350 on Interstate 84 in Minidoka County on July 16. The driver of the Sequoia ran from the scene following the collision, but returned to the scene in an attempt to steal the Ford pickup.
ISP said the driver of the Ford – a 43-year-old man from Twin Falls – refused to give the man his keys. The Wyoming man then poured gasoline on the F-350 and set it on fire.
As the truck went up in flames, a GMC Sierra stopped to help extinguish the truck. According to police, the suspect stole the Sierra and struck the vehicle’s owner – a 42-year-old Ammon man – as he drove away from the scene.
Following the chaotic series of events, a Heyburn Police officer unsuccessfully tried to stop the stolen Sierra with spike strips. The responding officer then pursued the suspect in as the Sierra left the freeway.
As the 2013 Ford Taurus police vehicle approached the stolen vehicle off the freeway, the suspect intentionally moved to hit the police vehicle, causing the two vehicles to stop.
According to Idaho State Police, the Heyburn Police officer unsuccessfully attempted to taser the man as he exited the Sierra. The suspect then stole the police vehicle and tried to run over the officer.
As the Wyoming man drove away, the officer with Heyburn Police fired “multiple shots” into the police vehicle. ISP said the suspect was hit by the gunshots.
The chase did not stop following the gunshots. As the police vehicle became undrivable due to damage from the intentional collision, the man ran into a nearby cornfield.
ISP said a police K-9 located the suspect after the area was contained near the empty police vehicle.
The Wyoming man was taken into custody and transported to the Minidoka Memorial Hospital. After he was treated and medically cleared for a gunshot wound and injuries from the K-9, the suspect was booked into the Mini-Cassia Criminal Justice Center.
According to ISP, the man was booked for probable cause for arson for lighting the Ford on fire. He was also booked for two counts of grand theft for stealing the Sierra and Heyburn Police vehicle, as well as one county of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer for attempting to run over the Heyburn officer.
The man remains in jail. Idaho State Police said his injuries were non-life threatening and no medical update is currently available.
The Wyoming man was issued additional citations for reckless driving, leaving the scene of a property damage crash and failure to wear a safety restraint. Additional charges may be forwarded to the prosecutor’s office following the investigation.
ISP said the Heyburn Police officer was not injured in the incident. The officer, who is an eight-year veteran, is on administrative leave as required by Heyburn City policy.
The Ammon man whose Sierra was stolen and the Twin Falls man driving the Ford F-350 were taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
The Sierra is damage extensively from the collision with the Heyburn Police vehicle, according to ISP.
The Critical Incident Task Force (CITF) is conducting the investigation. ISP said it is unknown why the incident occurred.