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Police dog bites suspect hiding under car

Crime Watch

IDAHO FALLS — A 36-year-old Idaho Falls man was arrested after allegedly not stopping his vehicle for police, hitting a parked car and hiding under a vehicle. A K-9 eventually bit the man after he did not listen to police commands, officers said.

According to an affidavit of probable cause, on Nov. 10 at 8:50 p.m., an officer was driving on 1st Street near North Fanning Avenue. The officer tried to stop a white Pontiac after running a license plate. The plate did not return a result on the officer’s computer, meaning the plate was false.

The driver, later identified as Juan Manuel Lopez Jr., showed no signs of stopping. Lopez kept driving at or below the posted speed limit, documents said.

Lopez then turned south on North Fanning Avenue and pulled to the side of the road. He rolled his window down a few inches. The officer told Lopez to turn off the vehicle. Lopez then sped away from the officer, documents said.

The officer followed Lopez. The vehicle slowed down before crossing Lomax Street but did not stop at a stop sign. Lopez drove 60 to 70 miles per hour and crashed into a parked vehicle near Tabor Avenue.

The officer went to the Pontiac and found nobody around. Other officers arrived, set up a perimeter and searched the area, documents said.

A pistol was between the driver’s seat and the center console of the vehicle. The officer ran the serial number, and it returned stolen out of Pocatello.

A person came to the scene and told the officer he had camera footage of the incident. The video showed the vehicle crashing and Lopez running directly east from the vehicle. The officer went back to the scene and started looking around for foot tracks.

“I then saw shoes under a vehicle that was parked next to the accident,” the officer wrote in documents. “I got down on my stomach and laid on the road to get a visual on the suspect.”

Two more officers and a K-9 officer arrived. The dog’s handler and the officer that was on the ground warned Lopez, and he did not respond.

Lopez was then apprehended by the K-9 unit, documents said. A spokeswoman with police told EastIdahoNews.com the dog bit Lopez.

Once Lopez was brought out from underneath the vehicle, the officer took him into custody. Per K-9 policy, Lopez was taken to the hospital for evaluation and treatment of the bite. He was then cleared to go to jail.

Lopez was charged with two felonies: attempting to elude a police officer and grand theft of firearms. He was additionally charged with misdemeanor resisting arrest. He pleaded not guilty to the misdemeanor charge on Monday.

He was given a $25,000 bond and is expected to report to pretrial services. Lopez is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Nov. 23 at 1 p.m. at the Bonneville County Courthouse.

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