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Armed man barges into Idaho Falls apartment, threatens couple, say police

Crime Watch

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Micheal Russell | Bonneville County Jail

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man is facing numerous charges after he allegedly forced his way into an apartment and threatened the residents with a handgun.

Idaho Falls Police officers responded to an apartment on Jan. 13 around 7 p.m. after getting a call that a man had kicked down a door and was trying to chase another man out of the apartment.

Police did not release the location of the apartment.

The couple living there told police 32-year-old Joshua Michael Russell had broken into the home, according to court documents.

Russell had been at the apartment around 1 p.m. that day after being invited by a mutual friend. He allegedly had shown the victims — a boyfriend and girlfriend — the Walther semi-automatic pistol while visiting. The boyfriend had even given Russell a shoulder holster for the gun, police said.

Russell called the girlfriend later that evening. On the phone call, she told Russell she and her boyfriend were having an argument, and she wanted him to leave, but Russell should not come to the home.

“A little while later, Josh came over and started pounding on their door. (The girlfriend) told (her boyfriend) to not let him in. She said that Josh kept pounding on the door and yelling for them to open it while (her boyfriend) stood leaning against the door,” according to court documents.

It is then that the girlfriend ran into the bathroom as Russell allegedly threatened to kick in the door. The boyfriend opened the front door as Russell came into the apartment and “immediately pulled his gun out of his coat pocket,” according to court documents.

The boyfriend told police Russell had pointed the gun in a “threatening manner,” making him afraid. Russell allegedly told the boyfriend to leave and never come back.

“Josh took (the boyfriend) over to the bathroom and tried to force him to open the door so he could see (the female victim),” according to court documents.

In the bathroom, the girlfriend messaged her mother, who called the police.

As he heard the police arrive, Russell left the home while allegedly forcing the boyfriend to walk in front of him out the door toward Russell’s car.

When police arrived, Russell tried to go back to the apartment, but police ordered him to the street instead. The boyfriend returned to the apartment.

A short time later, police placed Russell into custody.

They discovered the pistol under a truck parked near the apartment. A bullet was in the chamber.

Officers also found a white glass pipe with methamphetamine residue, a small digital scale, a large number of clear plastic baggies, multiple cotton swabs and two unused syringes in Russell’s car.

At the Bonneville County Jail, authorities found Russell was carrying methamphetamine as well as black tar heroin in his waistband, according to court documents.

He was arraigned Monday by District Judge Joel Tingey on multiple felony charges including aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon and two felony drug charges. He is also charged with misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia.

He is scheduled for a jury trial on April 9 at the Bonneville County Courthouse.