Man said gas station wouldn’t give him free gas before leading deputies on wild chase
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AMMON — A Washington man told deputies he was God and did not have to pay for gas before leading them on a wild chase Monday night.
The incident unfolded around 8 p.m. at the Hitt The Road Gas Station on Sunnyside Road. Dispatchers received a call about a man who was possibly under the influence and trying to hit customers. He drove away in a van before Bonneville County Sheriff’s deputies arrived, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
Deputies found 33-year-old David Chambliss of Everett, Washington driving the van and pulled him over at the Stinker Stores gas station off Hitt Road and 17th Street.
Chambliss got out of the van and stood very close to a deputy saying he was God and did not have to pay for gas. Chambliss reportedly yelled and started to argue with the deputy who told him he was not God. The deputy thought Chambliss would try to fight, so he radioed for assistance and drew his Taser.
Chambliss asked what the investigator’s Taser was for and then took off running, according to court documents. After running circles around the parking lot, Chambliss stopped for a moment and a deputy tried to use the Taser, which had no effect.
Deputies report Chambliss then ran back to his van got inside and locked the door. Deputies noticed Chambliss began reaching for the door panel and feared he might be reaching for a weapon. Chambliss then drove off at high speeds through the parking lot.
Believing Chambliss might be under the influence due to his pinpoint pupils and his belief he was God, deputies pursued. The chase went up and down Hitt Road as more deputies and Idaho Falls Police officers joined in the pursuit.
Deputies eventually disabled Chambliss’ van just past the roundabout at Hitt and Lincoln Roads. With the van stopped, Chambliss is reported to have grabbed a large sword. The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office says a K9 was used to take him into custody after more attempts with Tasers failed.
Portions of the incident were caught on camera by viewers and sent to EastIdahoNews.com. You can watch what unfolded here.
An Idaho Falls Fire Department ambulance took Chambliss to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. While at the hospital deputies got a warrant for Chambliss’ blood so they can determine if he had any drugs or alcohol in his system.
Deputies booked Chambliss into the Bonneville County Jail Tuesday night after he was released from the hospital.
Chambliss is charged with felony aggravated battery, attempt to elude law enforcement, misdemeanor resisting arrest and misdemeanor driving under the influence.
Although Chambliss is accused of a crime it does not necessarily mean he committed it. Everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty.
A preliminary hearing for Chambliss is scheduled for Sept. 22.