Pocatello man charged with 11 felonies after high-speed chase involving children
POCATELLO — A man who allegedly led police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car with two children inside the vehicle, has now been charged with 13 crimes, including 11 felonies.
Charles Andrew Pompa, 28, faces felony charges for aggravated battery, aggravated assault, grand theft, possession of a forged check and transferring a stolen vehicle, as well as four counts of injury to a child and two counts of fleeing an officer. He has also been charged with misdemeanors for failure to report an accident and theft, charge documents show.
The investigation began on June 5, when Pocatello Police Department officers received a call reporting a stolen vehicle, according to an affidavit of probable cause.
The owner of a white GMC Envoy told officers they discovered the vehicle had been stolen around noon. The owner said that while they have a security camera that would generally record the driveway where the Envoy had been, the camera was not active when the vehicle was stolen.
Officers spoke with neighbors, who said they had seen nothing out of the ordinary.
Pocatello police received a call from an officer with the Inkom Police Department, informing them the stolen Envoy had been found on the 5500 block of West Skyview Drive.
The Envoy was described as being parked on the side of the road with the hood opened when it was discovered.
Inkom police told Pocatello detectives that the vehicle had not been touched since it was reported. They also told Pocatello officers that they believed the Envoy had been used in another vehicle theft the night before.
A tan Chevrolet Tahoe had been reported stolen in the area and was linked to the Envoy.
Officers confirmed the Envoy to be the one stolen in Pocatello through the registration found inside. Fictitious license plates displayed on the vehicle when it was discovered were checked and belonged to a 1988 Honda Civic registered to Pompa.
Police found drug paraphernalia and cigarette ash inside the center console.
The owner of the stolen Envoy told officers that while many of the items discovered in the vehicle belonged to them, the cigarette, drug paraphernalia and a half-empty Gatorade bottle did not.
After all the evidence was collected from the Envoy, officers released it to the owner, who later provided officers with a complete list of items stolen from the vehicle, including 21 gallons of gas, valued at $665.
The owner also said that the Envoy had been driven approximately 320 miles.
Pocatello police received a call from the owner of the stolen Tahoe around 10 p.m., reporting that the Tahoe had been located at a supermarket on the 900 block of North Main Street.
When officers pulled into the supermarket’s parking lot, the Tahoe pulled out of a parking spot and left the lot.
As the Tahoe fled the lot, it hit one person and nearly hit three others.
The Tahoe turned south onto North Arthur Avenue and continued in that direction at high speeds.
Officers began a pursuit, noting that the Tahoe struck a parked car on North Arthur Avenue but continued driving.
Officers followed the Tahoe as it exceeded 50 mph through downtown Pocatello. The Tahoe then continued onto Bannock Highway, getting up to 80 mph.
At one point, the affidavit says, the Tahoe met traffic but moved onto the shoulder and continued its path at approximately 80 mph.
Officers halted their pursuit as the Tahoe reached approximate speeds greater than 100 mph near the Portneuf area.
A short time later, a deputy with the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office located the Tahoe near the 6500 block of South 5th Avenue.
Deputies and Pocatello officers chased the Tahoe until it pulled into a dirt parking lot, creating a dust cloud blocking the officers’ vision.
Once the dust settled enough for the officers to regain sight of the vehicle, they noted that it had struck a building.
Officers approached the vehicle and found the driver, who was later identified as Pompa, had fled. Officers discovered two children, seven years and five months of age, inside the Tahoe. According to the affidavit, the baby was not secured in a child seat.
Pocatello police received a call from a bank on the 1000 block of Yellowstone Avenue.
The bank manager told officers that a man in a tan Chevy Tahoe had attempted to cash a check the bank believed to be forged around 10 a.m. June 9.
The manager said that before the man came through the bank drive-thru, a local business owner had contacted the bank to ask about any checks being cashed from their business account. When the manager saw that the $400 check, made out to “Advance,” was from that business’ account, they noted it to be reported to the police.
Officers were provided photos of the Tahoe and the driver.
Though they could not collect an image of the license plate, officers determined that the Tahoe was the same involved in the chase the night prior.
They also identified the man driving the Tahoe as Pompa.
Pompa was found and placed under arrest near the 900 block of Yellowstone Avenue.
He was transported to Bannock County Jail, where he is currently held on a total of $251,000 in bonds.
Though Pompa has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.
If Pompa is found guilty, he could face up to 103 years in prison and up to $500,000 in fines.
He is scheduled to appear in court before Magistrate Judge Eric Hunn for a preliminary hearing on June 28.