Man arrested following police chase, SWAT standoff

Posted at 11:53 AM, Feb 19, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-19 13:55:29-05

IDAHO FALLS, Idaho — About 4:20 p.m. Wednesday, officers were dispatched to a home in the 1200 block of Ashment in Idaho Falls, after a police dispatcher received a call from a woman stating that Brett Karinen, 25, had assaulted and attempted to strangle her.

While the attack was taking place, a 16-year-old male babysitter in the home at the time intervened, allowing the woman to leave, according to an IFPD report. The woman ran to a neighbor’s home and used their phone to call 9-1-1.

While officers were enrooted, Karinen sped away from the neighborhood in a Green Jeep Cherokee, taking the 16-year-old and an 11-month-old infant with him, police said. He reportedly ignored officers’ attempts to stop him and began speeding recklessly westbound on 12th Street.

“The officer initially pursued the vehicle with lights and sirens activated; however, (the officer) discontinued the pursuit after a short time, due to concern for the safety of the children in the vehicle as well as other motorists on the roadway,” the release said. “The officer continued to follow the vehicle, attempting to keep it in sight, while also following standard traffic laws. The officer witnessed the vehicle continuing westbound on 12th Street before (he lost) sight of the vehicle. The officer found fresh skid marks at the intersection of Bower and 12th Street, and again on Bower and 9th street.”

Officers later located the suspect’s vehicle behind a home in the 900 block of 7th Street. Witnesses told police they saw the vehicle being driven recklessly before stopping -- as well reportedly seeing Karinen, the teenage boy, and the infant leave the vehicle and enter a nearby residence. A large number of Idaho Falls Police Officers responded to the neighborhood, including the IFPD SWAT Team.

A message was sent out notifying those living within a quarter-mile radius of the residence to stay in their homes. Officers also blocked several streets immediately surrounding the area.

IFPD officers and dispatchers were able to get phone numbers for an occupant and were able to speak with those inside the home. Shortly after 5:30 p.m., the 16-year-old left the home with the eleven-month-old, a woman, and two teenage boys who had been inside the home prior to Karinen getting there.

“Karinen refused to exit the residence and refused to cooperate with officers’ directions for quite some time. Idaho Falls Police Officers continued to negotiate with him,” the release said. “At one point, the IFPD SWAT team utilized a ‘flashbang,’ which is a small device that produces a bright flash and a loud noise, intended to stun or disorient an individual without causing serious injury or damage. None of the officers involved discharged other munitions or their service weapons at any time during the incident. At approximately 7:10 p.m., Karinen exited the residence and was taken into custody by the IFPD SWAT team.”

Idaho Falls Police officers say they searched Karinen’s vehicle and found one gram of methamphetamine, 2.8 grams of marijuana, and various items of drug paraphernalia.

The woman involved in the original domestic disturbance on Ashment was taken by ambulance to the Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Officers report she had multiple injuries consistent with being battered. After being released from the hospital, officers were able to reunite her with the eleven-month old child.

Brett Karinen was arrested for:
•felony domestic battery in the presence of a child
•felony attempted strangulation
•felony possession of a controlled substance
•misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance
•misdemeanor possession of drug paraphernalia
•and misdemeanor resisting and obstructing arrest

He was booked into the Bonneville County Jail.

(photo courtesy: Idaho Falls Police Dept.)