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‘I heard a bloodcurdling scream!’ Man in custody after police say he tried to stab 10-year-old girl

Crime Watch

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Johnny Martinez | IFPD

IDAHO FALLS — An Idaho Falls man who caused a lockdown at an elementary school is in custody after police say he tried to stab a 10-year-old girl who was in her front yard.

Johnny Martinez, 36, was arrested for aggravated assault Friday afternoon.

Officers were called to the 1000 block of Jefferson Avenue around 2 p.m. for a report of a man with a knife. The girl’s mother, who asked that we only use her first name, tells EastIdahoNews.com her daughter went outside with their German shepherd.

“She went out so the dog could use the bathroom in the front yard,” Christin says. “I heard a bloodcurdling scream, and she comes running in yelling that some guy just tried to stab her in the front yard and that he was out there right now.”

Christin went outside with her fiancé to confront Martinez, who she says was holding a 12-inch blade. He had stabbed their fence and was walking toward A.H. Bush Elementary School. She called 911, and the elementary school was placed on lockdown.

“A perimeter was established around the area as a dozen officers spoke with witnesses and searched roadways, alleys and backyards,” Idaho Falls Police spokeswoman Jessica Clements says. “At 2:10 p.m. an Idaho Falls Police officer located the suspect hiding in an alley in the area and took him into custody.”

RELATED | Elementary school lockdown lifted after suspect taken into custody

Christin says her family has no idea who Martinez is and her daughter says, “He was really angry at somebody.”

Police are unsure why he threatened the girl, and Christin says she’s glad Martinez is off the streets.

Court records show he has a long history of felony and misdemeanor charges.

“I’m just glad my daughter knew to run inside. She was terrified and scared and I’m glad nothing happened.” Christin says. “Still in a panic over this.”

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