Man accused of hitting teenager with truck and speeding away
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IONA — An Idaho Falls man is behind bars after a teenager claimed he hit him with a truck before speeding away.
Travis James Chapman told deputies that on Dec. 17, he went to pick up a camper trailer he “had paperwork for,” according to an affidavit of probable cause obtained by EastIdahoNews.com. During the process, Chapman said he felt threatened so he took off, made a u-turn and swerved toward two people when he struck the teenager.
Chapman is charged with felony aggravated battery by use of a deadly weapon and felony leaving the scene of a crash causing serious injury.
The incident stemmed from the disputed ownership and use of the camper trailer. One of the parties involved picked up the camper trailer Chapman had been living in at the request of Chapman’s incarcerated girlfriend who owned the camper.
Chapman believed the camper was his so he drove to the home on Iona Road, backed up his truck and attempted to take it back, according to court documents. A person inside the home came outside wielding a green metal shovel as someone else called 911.
A group of five to six people came outside and Chapman told detectives the man welding the shovel began threatening him so he sped away. Witnesses said Chapman turned around and swerved at a group of people standing on the side of the road. The truck hit a teenager, causing injuries that needed treatment at the hospital.
“Travis C. stopped in the roadway and yelled, ‘ F— you. You are lucky I didn’t hit you harder,'” court documents say witnesses heard.
Chapman later told a deputy that the teenager stepped out into the road and he didn’t mean to hit him.
Deputies found evidence pointing to the teenager being struck closer to the edge of the road and not the middle as described by Chapman, according to the probable cause.
Chapman was arrested last week and booked into the Bonneville County Jail. He appeared for his initial appearance Friday where his bond was set at $15,000.
The Idaho Department of Correction lists Chapman on probation for prior felony drug-related charges.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Jan. 24.