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UPDATE: Man arrested after chase and crash with unmarked police vehicle

Idaho Falls

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Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

UPDATE:

IDAHO FALLS — A man arrested following a high-speed chase in Idaho Falls Tuesday has a history of running from cops.

Idaho Falls Police officials say at around 6 p.m., an unmarked police vehicle tried pulling over a car driven by 28-year-old Pedro Lopez near 1st Street and Fanning Avenue.

The traffic stop was part of a felony investigation, according to an IFPD news release. No details about that investigation were released Tuesday.

As the officer turned on his emergency lights, police say that Lopez fled at speeds upwards of 80 mph along city streets. The officer pursued, and observed Lopez reportedly weaved in and out of traffic.

At one point, Lopez allegedly crashed into a car in the parking lot of Harbor Freight on 17th Street. The crash caused minor damage but no one was injured.

Other police vehicles joined the pursuit. When Lopez’s vehicle got onto 17th Street heading eastbound, a different unmarked Idaho Falls Police car with lights and sirens was traveling westbound. Police say that Lopez drove into oncoming traffic, hitting the unmarked car in front of the Firehose Car Wash.

RELATED | Man arrested following police chase booked into Bonneville County Jail on 10 charges

Shortly after a large contingent of law enforcement swarmed the scene. The officer in the unmarked car didn’t sustain any major injuries.

In the car with Lopez was a woman whom Idaho Falls Fire Department emergency medical personnel transported to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. The woman, who has not been named by police, was treated and released from the hospital.

As Lopez sat on the sidewalk in handcuffs, police searched his car. Inside investigators found a bag that Lopez said was his. In close proximity to the bag, police found drug paraphernalia, methamphetamine and heroin, according to the news release.

Police then arrested Lopez for felony eluding police, felony possession of meth and felony possession of heroin. Before booking Lopez into the Bonneville County Jail, police took him to EIRMC for medical clearance.

Running from the police is not new to Lopez. In March 2018, the Idaho Falls Police tried pulling over Lopez, a known gang member with the street name “Lil South.” A pursuit followed but eventually he was arrested and booked into jail on a lengthy list of charges.

A judge ultimately placed Lopez into a rider program after concerns were raised about him joining a prison gang. He was released on probation in May 2019. Court records indicate in November 2019, Lopez fled from police again and he was charged with felony eluding. That charge is still pending as of Tuesday night.

In the 2018 case, a probation violation was also filed in court and Lopez is expected to appear in court next month.

Lopez is expected to appear in court Wednesday afternoon where he will be read his charges and bail will be set.

Pedro Lopez

ORIGINAL STORY:

IDAHO FALLS — A man is in police custody following a crash involving an unmarked police vehicle on 17th Street in Idaho Falls.

The crash occurred just before 6 p.m. Tuesday in front of Firehose Car Wash.

Idaho Falls Police spokeswoman Jessica Clements said officers attempted to pull over a dark blue vehicle on 1st Street between Holmes Avenue and St. Clair Road. The vehicle fled from police resulting in a chase.

The chase ended on 17th Street after a crash involving the vehicles driven by an officer and the suspect. It’s not yet clear exactly how the crash occurred. Following the crash, the driver was taken into custody for questioning.

More information is expected to be released later this evening.

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