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Man charged after allegedly breaking into woman’s home, strangling her, and threatening to shoot her

Crime Watch

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IDAHO FALLS — A 47-year-old Shelley man has been charged with a felony and multiple misdemeanors after he allegedly broke into a woman’s house, strangled her, threw her to the ground and threatened to shoot her.

Michael Eatinger was charged with felony attempted strangulation. He was also charged with several misdemeanors including battery, reckless driving, and violating a civil protection order.

According to the affidavit of probable cause, an officer with the Idaho Falls Police Department was dispatched on May 7 at 5:44 p.m. to a house regarding a civil protection order violation.

The female victim stated that Eatinger, who is not legally allowed to go near her, came to her home, went inside without her permission and assaulted her.

The victim told officers that Eatinger broke into her house because he was looking for a man he believed was there. She said she tried to stop him and that’s when Eatinger grabbed her by her neck and threw her up against the wall and attempted to strangle her. She told officers she could not breathe.

She said Eatinger then slapped her across the face.

According to documents, she told officers that her jaw was very sore. Officers reported the left side of her face and neck were red. She also said Eatinger threw her to the ground. The victim told police that Eatinger threatened to shoot her. She said she was afraid he was going to come back and kill her.

She stated that Eatinger comes to her property often. She showed police doorbell footage of him on her property at 3 a.m. knocking on her window. He also allegedly broke the security camera on her back porch. The victim said Eatinger constantly calls and texts her from multiple numbers. He has also hidden in her neighbor’s yard with night vision goggles and watched her house.

Eatinger was not at the home when the victim reported to police what had happened.

The next day, officers were dispatched to the victim’s home again. Dispatch received a call from a man saying that Eatinger was trying to get into the victim’s house at around 2:30 a.m.

The victim told police that someone had knocked the camera off of where it was mounted near the front door of the house. The camera did not show who specifically did it.

She stated that she thought that Eatinger had come back and was still in the area.

Officers tried to look for Eatinger in the area but were unable to locate him.

“At approximately 0600 hours, I was preparing to leave the area and noticed a black 4-door Toyota Sedan driving at a high rate of speed northbound on Bellin from the south toward West 17th,” the report said.

The vehicle turned abruptly without signaling and went out of sight.

“I observed the vehicle run the stop sign from eastbound Granite to southbound Burlwood,” the report said.

The vehicle continued to run several stop signs.

“The vehicle would (accelerate) rapidly after turning and was a ways ahead of me most of the way through the neighborhood. I was trying to catch up to the vehicle and wasn’t sure if the driver of the vehicle even knew I was trying to catch up or if they always drove this recklessly,” the report continued.

After the officer initiated overhead lights on the police vehicle, the vehicle stopped. The officer soon found that the driver was Eatinger.

“I took Eatinger into custody, I advised Eatinger that he was under arrest for violation of civil protection order, reckless driving and that there were some other pending charges,” the officer wrote in the report.

The Toyota that Eatinger was driving was towed. Officers found bear spray, a baseball hat, brass knuckles, a camera and night vision goggles inside the vehicle.

Eatinger appeared in court on Monday and was given an $85,000 bond. He has since posted bond and was served a no-contact order between him and the victim.

He is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 20 at 1 p.m. in Bonneville County Magistrate Court.

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