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Man charged with aggravated assault after allegedly kicking, firing gun at person

Crime Watch

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POCATELLO — A local man was arrested on an outstanding warrant during a traffic stop last Tuesday.

Jarom Arthur Blackburn, 35, was pulled over for an expired license plate just before 1 a.m. on Hayes Avenue, a Pocatello Police Department spokesman said. When the officer ran Blackburn’s information, he learned the man was wanted for a violation of his release relating to an aggravated assault arrest in December.

As part of his release, Blackburn was ordered by the court to check in three times weekly and submit to random drug tests. After missing check-ins for the last week of January and first week of February, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest, according to court documents.

Blackburn was arrested for trespassing on Dec. 22 and held for his involvement in an aggravated assault involving a deadly weapon that occurred on Dec. 17, an affidavit of probable cause says.

Bannock County Sheriff deputies responded to a call on Dec. 17 around 10:30 p.m. The victim told deputies that he had been struck several times and shot at by a man he knew to be “Gerald.” Because he was Spanish-speaking with little English skills, deputies were unable to gather pertinent information at the scene.

The victim had a warrant for failing to appear in court and was taken to the Bannock County Jail. While there, he was interrogated with the assistance of a state-certified interpreter.

Through the interpreter, the victim told officers he had paid $300 to rent a room in a trailer for the month of December. He was dropped off at the trailer by a friend the night of Dec. 17 and was not allowed in the home.

After an altercation with the homeowner, the man the victim called Gerald, who was later identified as Blackburn, arrived and allegedly shoved the victim to the ground, kicking him and aiming a black pistol at him. The victim told officers he was kicked 10 times before he was allowed to get up and retrieve his property.

While leaving, the victim told officers that Gerald (Blackburn) shot the firearm in his direction twice. Fearing for his life, the victim called 911.

Officers arrested Blackburn on Dec. 22 for trespassing onto a property from which he had been evicted one week prior.

While being searched, officers allegedly found a black Hi Point 9MM pistol. Blackburn told officers that he had just removed the pistol from a Jeep he had been spotted near.

At Bannock County Jail, while he was being booked, Blackburn allegedly asked, “This is because [the victim] thought we shot at him, huh?”

During interrogations, officers noted that Blackburn changed his story numerous times.

He told officers he had been called to the residence by the owner because they needed his help with a trespasser. Upon arriving, he admitted to striking the victim but said he then felt bad and walked the victim through the residence to retrieve his property.

As the victim walked away from the residence, Blackburn discharged a firearm he had grabbed off of a table in the home, he said, to check if it worked properly. He claimed it was an accident that he had discharged the weapon in the direction of the victim.

Officers said they ended the interview as they were certain that much of what Blackburn was saying was not true.

Blackburn was released on his own recognizance with the court-ordered check-in and drug testing requirements on Jan. 11. He missed his check-in dates on Jan. 22, 24, Feb. 3 and 8.

Blackburn has had run-ins with the law in the past. Court records say he has been arrested for drug possession, possession of a firearm by a felon, malicious injury to property and disturbing the peace.

He faces up to five years in prison and fines as much as $5,000 if found guilty of aggravated assault. Prosecutors have also added a deadly weapon enhancement to his charges.

Blackburn is scheduled for a jury trial on July 13.