Woman flown to EIRMC after bystanders stop violent attack
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This story was updated at 3 p.m. Tuesday after the victim contacted EastIdahoNews.com and shared additional information.
ISLAND PARK — A woman was flown to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center after reportedly being beaten by a man in rural eastern Idaho.
The Fremont County Sheriff’s Office was called to Buttermilk Loop Road near Island Park Reservoir around 8:40 p.m. Friday. A witness called 911 and said a woman was on the ground screaming for help, followed by a loud bang and a man yelling at the woman.
Brandon Paul Morris, 40, of Montana, is charged with felony domestic battery inflicting traumatic injury, felony driving under the influence and misdemeanor false imprisonment. Charging documents indicate Morris left the woman seriously injured, but he denied abusing her.
By the time a deputy got to the camping area, witnesses pointed down a small ATV trail. A bystander took the deputy down to the shoreline on an ATV. Deputies found Morris holding a can of beer while three men stood between him and the woman who sat crying on the ground.
Deputies put Morris in handcuffs and asked what happened. According to court documents, Morris was “extremely intoxicated” and slurred incomplete sentences. Morris claimed to have been arguing with the woman but denied hurting her or driving a Ford Explorer to the scene.
As EMS began treating the woman, she told deputies the two were driving down the road and got into an argument. The woman said Morris began bashing her head into the windshield, leaving the window cracked. Morris is also accused of slamming her head into the side window of the passenger seat.
As the woman screamed for help, she says an ATV drove by and as she tried to escape, Morris allegedly pulled her back into the SUV. Morris is reported to have kept attacking the woman until a man on the ATV helped her to safety.
Several witnesses reported hearing a loud crash and the woman screaming for help. Witnesses ran to help and said an intoxicated Morris kept yelling at the woman as they stood between the two until law enforcement arrived.
EMS noted the woman had injuries to her hand and fingers. She also had bruises up and down her arms. The woman also said she could not rate her pain because Morris hurts her so much that she got used to it, according to investigators. After EastIdahoNews.com posted this story, the victim contacted us and said she never made those statements.
The woman was airlifted to EIRMC and admitted to the Intensive Care Unit. She tells EastIdahoNews.com she had an underlying heart issue that contributed to her medical condition but was released from the hospital Tuesday and is doing fine.
Morris refused to take a breathalyzer test and was booked into the Fremont County Jail. He made his initial court appearance on Monday where a judge read him his rights and charges.
Court records show Morris has had four DUI convictions in Montana since 2016, making it a felony for allegedly getting behind the wheel of the SUV while intoxicated Friday night.
Although Morris is accused of a crime, it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A preliminary hearing for Morris is scheduled for Aug. 30.