Challis man arrested after weekend standoff allegedly wore body armor, had AR-15 style rifle  - East Idaho News
Crime Watch

Challis man arrested after weekend standoff allegedly wore body armor, had AR-15 style rifle 

  Published at
Getting your Trinity Audio player ready ...

CHALLIS — A Challis man who was arrested over the weekend following a standoff at his home allegedly answered the door for deputies by wearing body armor and holding an AR-15-style rifle, court documents said.

Curtis Lee Caton, 47, is being held on a $1 million bond. According to court records, he has been charged with felony unlawful discharge of a firearm, felony assault with the intent to commit murder, felony malicious injury to property, and misdemeanor resisting or obstructing officers. 

He had an initial appearance at court in Custer County Tuesday. He appeared via Zoom and is currently being held in the Lemhi County Jail in Salmon.  

RELATED | Man police say shot at teens in Challis arrested after overnight standoff

RELATED | Person in custody after police incident in Challis

What happened

According to an affidavit of probable cause filed by the Custer County Sheriff’s Office, on Saturday, May 11, at 10 p.m., three kids were in a remote area of Custer County known as Bradbury Flat. The kids drove past a knoll, where they saw a Toyota Tacoma truck and a campfire. 

A man — later identified as Caton — fired a gun several times in the area, causing the kids to believe they were being shot at. They reported to deputies that they were scared of being shot. 

According to a news release, the parents of the juveniles went to an area where they found the Toyota Tacoma but were met with gunfire from Caton into their vehicle. The rounds penetrated the interior of the vehicle, nearly hitting the occupants. There were no reported injuries, a Custer County news release said. 

The standoff

Law enforcement attempted to contact Caton at his home on Summit Circle after 12:50 a.m. to get details about what happened.

Caton reportedly answered the door wearing body armor and held an AR-15-style rifle where he told Sheriff Levi Maydole something to the effect of “this is how it is now,” motioning with his hand and referring to his rifle and body armor, court documents said. 

Caton then kicked the door shut.  

His wife was safely evacuated from the home along with a 23-year-old woman.

Deputies created a perimeter around the residence while assistance was requested from the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office S.W.A.T. team. The STAR team also responded with additional personnel and resources as negotiations continued through the morning, the release said. 

Caton was eventually taken into custody on Sunday, May 12, after approximately six hours of negotiation. He surrendered peacefully. 

Search warrant and investigation

Court documents said the campsite and fire location in the area of Bradbury Flat was located by law enforcement and several 10mm shell casings were recovered, corroborating the story from the kids. 

Several items of evidence were recovered due to a search warrant. The items include eight spent shell casings, one live 10mm cartridge on the ground near the driver-side passenger door of the Toyota Tacoma pickup, and a 10mm handgun with a green laser aiming device and loaded magazines recovered from inside of Caton’s home. 

Deputies interviewed Caton’s wife, who said she and her husband were at a location in the desert south of Challis, and they had a campfire. She said they had firearms with them but she reported that she was unsure of which ones. 

She said a vehicle approached them, and she felt as if they were being “creepy.” She did not elaborate on why or how, court documents said. She said she got in the passenger side of the truck they were in and drove away. She was unsure if her husband had fired a gun and law enforcement reported she showed signs of alcohol intoxication.

What’s next 

In a news release on Thursday, Sheriff Maydole thanked his team and the additional resources that came and helped during the standoff. 

“I am thankful we were able to reach a peaceful resolution without any loss of life or serious injury in our community,” Maydole said in the release. “This is a great example of the need for strong working relationships and continued collaboration with our local and regional law enforcement partners who can assist rural counties such as ours…”

Caton is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on May 28 at 8 a.m. 

Though Caton has been charged with these crimes, it does not necessarily mean he committed them. Everyone is presumed innocent until they are proven guilty.

The investigation remains ongoing, and there is potential for additional charges, the Custer County Sheriff’s Office said.