Idaho Falls, ID – On Tuesday, February 18th, the Idaho Falls Police Department arrested Brett Karinen, a 25-year-old Idaho Falls resident, following an investigation into a domestic violence incident and a two-and-a-half-hour standoff with IFPD Patrol Officers and the IFPD SWAT team.
At approximately 4:20 p.m., officers were dispatched to a residence in the 1200 block of Ashment, after Idaho Falls Police Dispatch received a call from a woman stating that Karinen had assaulted her and attempted to strangle her. While this was occurring, a 16-year-old male babysitter in the residence intervened, allowing the woman to exit the residence. The woman ran to a neighbor’s residence and used their phone to call 911.
While Idaho Falls Police Officers were enroute, Karinen exited the residence getting in a Green Jeep Cherokee, taking the 16-year-old and an 11-month-old infant with him. As the first officer arrived, Karinen fled the residence, ignoring the officer’s attempt to stop him. Karinen fled in the vehicle at a high rate of speed, driving recklessly westbound on 12th street.
The officer initially pursued the vehicle with lights and sirens activated, however, discontinued the pursuit after a short time due to concern for the safety of the children in the vehicle as well as other motorists on the roadway. The officer continued to follow the vehicle, attempting to keep it in sight, while also following standard traffic laws. The officer witnessed the vehicle continuing westbound on 12th street before losing sight of the vehicle. The officer was able to find fresh skid marks at the intersection of Bower and 12th street, and again on Bower and 9th street.
Officers were able to locate the suspect vehicle behind a residence in the 900 block of 7th street. Witnesses reported seeing the vehicle driving recklessly before stopping as well as seeing Karinen, the teenage male, and the infant leave the vehicle and enter the residence. A large number of Idaho Falls Police Officers responded to the residence including the IFPD SWAT Team.
An Alert Sense message was sent out notifying residents within a quarter-mile radius of the residence to stay in their homes to allow law enforcement space to safely secure the children and take Karinen into custody. Officers also blocked several streets immediately surrounding the area for the same purpose.
IFPD Officers and Dispatch obtained phone numbers for an occupant inside the residence and were able to speak with occupants. Shortly after 5:30 p.m., the 16-year-old exited the residence with the 11-month-old, as well as one adult female and two teenage males who had been inside the residence prior to Karinen’s arrival.
Karinen refused to exit the residence and refused to cooperate with officers’ directions for quite some time. Idaho Falls Police Officers continued to negotiate with him. At one point the IFPD SWAT team utilized a “flashbang” which is a small device that produces a bright flash and a loud noise, intended to stun or disorient an individual without causing serious injury or damage. None of the officers involved discharged other munitions or their service weapons at any time during the incident. At approximately 7:10 p.m., Karinen exited the residence and was taken into custody by the IFPD SWAT team without further incident.
Idaho Falls Police Officers searched Karinen’s vehicle to conduct an inventory of the vehicle prior to it being impounded. Officers found 1 gram of methamphetamine, 2.8 grams of marijuana, and various items of drug paraphernalia in the vehicle.
The woman involved in the original domestic disturbance on Ashment had been transported via ambulance to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Officers found that she had multiple injuries consistent with attempted strangulation and being battered. After being released from EIRMC, officers were able to reunite her with the 11-month old child.
Brett Karinen was arrested for
- Felony Domestic Battery in the Presence of a Child
- Felony Attempted Strangulation
- Felony Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Misdemeanor Possession of a Controlled Substance
- Misdemeanor Possession of Drug Paraphernalia
- Misdemeanor Resisting and Obstructing Arrest
and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail. This incident is continuing to be investigated and additional charges may be pending.
The Idaho Falls Police Department would like to thank residents in the area for their patience and understanding while officers worked to bring the situation to a safe conclusion.