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Man arrested after allegedly hitting sleeping person with lighter torch

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The following is a news release from the Idaho Falls Police Department.

IDAHO FALLS — On Saturday, July 27, Idaho Falls Police Officers responded to a residence in the 2200 N Yellowstone Hwy for a report of a physical disturbance.

When officers arrived, they contacted a male who appeared to have been in a physical altercation and was covered in blood.

Officers called EMS to the scene where the victim was assessed but refused EMS transport.

The victim stated that he had been asleep in his residence when a man came into his room and began hitting him with an object he described as a torch or lighter. After hitting him repeatedly, the suspect had fled.

The victim identified his attacker as John Whalen, who is a 55-year-old resident of Idaho Falls.

Officers were able to determine a possible location for Whalen in the 1700 block of Grandview Drive.

Officers performed a felony traffic stop on the suspect’s vehicle as it was arriving at that address.

Whalen exited the vehicle at the direction of the officers who were able to clearly see that Whalen had blood on his clothing and all over his hands. A torch lighter matching the description given by the victim was in the vehicle in plain view and was also covered in blood. A passenger in the vehicle confirmed that they had driven to the location of the incident and that Whalen had entered a residence there.

Whalen was arrested for Aggravated Battery and Burglary and was taken to the Bonneville County Jail.