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Wyoming fugitive hurts Madison County deputy in high-speed chase

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Ryan Knudsen | Madison County Jail

REXBURG — The Rigby man involved in two high-speed chases Tuesday is facing numerous felony charges and is sitting behind bars on a combined $225,000 bail.

Police reports show at around 12:30 a.m., the Madison County Sheriff’s Office found Ryan S. Knudsen, 37, in a 2013 white Jaguar at a Latter-day Saint church on 2000 West and 6000 South. Knudsen said he did not have a valid driver’s license, and dispatch confirmed he had a felony warrant out of Wyoming, according to court documents.

The deputy tried to arrest Knudsen, who put the Jaguar into reverse. The luxury sports car’s door struck the deputy, sending him flying towards his own patrol car, a deputy writes in a probable cause affidavit. Knudsen then drove away at an estimated speed of over 100 mph.

Down the road, Knudsen’s car slammed into a gate valued at $11,000, and when deputies caught up to him, he drove off again at similar speeds. Deputies called off the chase, and the deputy struck by the car then went to Madison Memorial Hospital for evaluation of potential internal injuries.

Madison County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Sgt. Issac Payne could not comment on the injuries due to the ongoing investigation and criminal proceedings.

The deputy’s patrol car sustained an estimated $1,000 in damages.

Dispatch put out a radio call that Knudsen and the Jaguar were wanted.

Shortly after 8 a.m., a Fremont County Sheriff’s deputy saw the Jaguar going about 50 mph on Idaho Highway 33 through Teton. The speed limit in the area is 35 mph. As the deputy prepared to pull over the speeding car, Knudsen suddenly sped up.

RELATED | High-speed chase spanning two counties ends in Rexburg

As the pursuit escalated, deputies estimated Knudsen drove at speeds between 120 and 140 mph on Highway 33 toward the junction of US Highway 20. Once at the eastbound exit, Knudsen turned westbound onto Highway 20, driving the wrong way.

A Rexburg Police officer in the area saw Knudsen fly by onto exit 337 onto North 2nd East in Rexburg. Law enforcement followed Knudsen as he turned onto the dead-end side road near Walmart.

The police officer writes in a probable cause that Knudsen stopped the car and ran into the Walmart parking lot. The officer followed as Knudsen began taking his black beanie and red outer shirt off. The officer then tackled Knudsen and placed him into handcuffs. Backup arrived a short time later.

According to court documents, police found empty syringes in his pants pocket. Police also found one syringe loaded with heroin. After a K9 alerted on the Jaguar, police found a small amount of marijuana, THC peanut butter cookies and a silicone pipe with marijuana residue.

Courtesy Madison County Sheriff

“During the investigation of the event, the accused admitted to using opioids around 11 p.m. the night prior,” the officer writes in the probable cause.

Knudsen refused to perform a field sobriety test, and a blood draw was sent off for testing.

In Madison County, Knudsen is charged with two felony counts of eluding from law enforcement, two felony counts of malicious injury to property, felony assault and battery on a deputy, felony possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, misdemeanor DUI, misdemeanor resisting arrest and misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance. His bail for those charges was set at $125,000.

Man arrested in connection with high-speed chase | Courtesy Braden Hartle

In Fremont County, Knudsen is charged with felony eluding from law enforcement and misdemeanor driving without a valid driver’s license. His bail in Fremont County was set at $100,000.

It still remains unclear as to what Knudsen’s warrant out of Wyoming is for. He also has a lengthy criminal history in eastern Idaho with dozens of criminal cases.

He remains held in the Madison County Jail for a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 30 and July 1.

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