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UPDATE: Police say man threatened to kill pharmacy staff while demanding drugs

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Gary Holdaway | Idaho Falls Police Department

UPDATE

IDAHO FALLS — Police say a local man who demanded drugs threatened to kill pharmacy staff and got into a fight with police, which sent an officer to the hospital.

Gary Holdaway, 51, went into the Walgreens at the corner of 17th Street and Holmes Avenue around 2:30 p.m. Friday. Police spokeswoman Jessica Clements said in a news release that Holdaway went to the pharmacy counter and demanded prescription narcotics and threatened to kill the employee and others in the store.

Clements said the staff gave Holdaway “items,” and Holdaway jumped into a red Chevy trailblazer. Someone called 911, and officers went to the pharmacy and surrounding area to look for the suspect.

An Idaho Falls Police officer spotted Holdaway in the SUV near 5th Street and South Boulevard at 2:33 p.m. Police briefly gave chase before losing sight of the SUV, but officers kept searching the area.

At 2:36 p.m., someone called police saying that a red SUV had crashed into a fence and power pole in an alley behind a house on Water Avenue. As police arrived, Holdaway ran from the crashed vehicle.

“The suspect reportedly forced his way into a residence pushing the resident outside and barricading himself inside,” Clements said. “Officers began surrounding the residence when the suspect exited and engaged with officers. An Idaho State Police trooper assisting with the apprehension attempted to deploy a Taser device to stop the suspect; however, the Taser was unsuccessful.”

Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

Holdaway allegedly charged at an IFPD officer and got into a fight with him. Police placed Holdaway into handcuffs, but not without the officer getting hurt.

Clements called the officer’s injuries “significant” but not life-threatening. He was taken to a local hospital by an Idaho Falls Fire Department ambulance.

Holdaway was hurt in the crash, and police took him to the hospital to be medically cleared for jail. He told officers he had ingested a significant amount of narcotics.

Officers found a knife sheath on Holdaway and a knife inside the Chevy. Police also recovered the substances taken in the robbery inside the SUV, inside the apartment and on Holdaway.

EastIdahoNews.com also saw officers find at least one large can of alcohol inside the SUV before it was towed away.

Police are booking Holdaway into the Bonneville County Jail for felony robbery, felony eluding, leaving the scene of an accident, resisting arrest and petty theft.

Holdaway is expected to be handed down his official charges on Monday and make his initial court appearance.

Clements said the incident remains under investigation, and Holdaway could face additional charges.

“The Idaho Falls Police Department would like to commend Walgreens employees and patrons for their ability to keep a level head and provide dispatch with accurate and clear descriptions of the suspect and suspect vehicle,” Clements said. “IFPD would also like to thank the Idaho State Police and the Idaho Bureau of Land Management, and other agencies whose officers were in the area at the time and assisted with the apprehension, investigation and securing the scene.”

Eric Grossarth, EastIdahoNews.com

ORIGINAL STORY

IDAHO FALLS —- A suspect is in custody following a robbery Friday afternoon that led to a fight and an officer being taken to the hospital.

Around 2:30 p.m. the suspect entered Walgreens on 17th Street and Holmes Avenue. He threatened the pharmacist before taking off with some items, Idaho Falls Police Department spokeswoman Jessica Clements told EastIdahoNews.com. Law enforcement found the suspect’s red Chevy SUV and a brief pursuit followed before it was called off.

A short time later, someone at a home on Water Avenue said the same SUV crashed into a power pole in an alley off Pine Street. Around this time, the suspect barged into an apartment as police swarmed the area.

Officers were able to get the suspect outside and tried using a Taser on him. The suspect fought with police, according to Clements, and one officer was injured. He was taken to the hospital for treatment and is expected to be ok.

The suspect’s name and charges have not been released. EastIdahoNews.com will provide updates on this developing story.

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