Passersby help officer subdue violent suspect


Two bystanders on Thursday helped an Idaho Falls Police officer subdue a Montana man that was violently resisting arrest and attempting to flee.

Idaho Falls Police officer David Shanor stopped Mosiah Daniel Prettypaint, 39, at 1 p.m. for going against one-way traffic near the intersection of Shoup Avenue and Constitution Way.

Shanor found that Prettypaint had an arrest warrant from Montana for attempted strangulation and arrested him. Two Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office Deputies arrived to back up Shanor, but left once Prettypaint was in handcuffs.

Prettypaint then began complaining that the handcuffs were uncomfortable on his wrists. Shanor said in his probable cause affidavit that the suspect’s hands seemed discolored, and he adjusted the cuffs so they weren’t as tight.

Prettypaint had told Shanor the GMC Pickup that he was driving was loaned to him by his father. Before he attempted to flee, Prettypaint asked Shanor if he could park the truck, but the officer said it would be towed unless Prettypaint knew someone who could pick it up in the next 20 minutes.

Prettypaint gave the name of a local woman, but Shanor was unable to make contact with her.

“At that point, he became almost panicked, and said the cuffs were hurting his hands really bad still,” Shanor said in his report.

Shanor noted Prettypaint’s hands were now purple, and decided to cuff the suspect’s hands in front of his body instead of behind his back.

While Shanor was making the adjustments, Prettypaint pushed past him and attempted to flee, ignoring the officer’s commands to stop. According to a department news release, Prettypaint tried to hit Shanor with his handcuffed arms.

Shanor caught Prettypaint by the jacket and attempted to restrain him as the suspect fought back.

“I realized that I was alone, fighting a man quite a bit larger than me,” Shanor said in his report. Shanor estimated Prettypaint outweighed him by about 70 pounds.

Prettypaint continued to swing at and charge Shanor as he attempted to restrain him. According to his report, Shanor struck Prettypaint on the right side of his face in an attempt to weaken him.

“I began to fear that if he was able to get me to let go, then I would lose the upper hand and he would not only be better able to attack me, but I felt that Mosiah would try to kill me,” Shanor wrote. “The force and manner that Mosiah was attacking me with was not consistent with someone just trying to get away.”

Shanor wrote that, because his Taser was on the left side of his duty belt in a cross-hand draw position, he could not reach for it without risking having his arm pressed against his body by Prettypaint. Shanor instead reached for his gun, pointed it at Prettypaint’s chest, and told the suspect that if he did not stop, Shanor was going to shoot.

Prettypaint began to struggle harder. Shanor hit the suspect in the head twice with the handle of his gun in an attempt to knock him out.

Two bystanders appeared and asked Shanor if they could help. They helped restrain Prettypaint allowing Shanor to reach his Taser to incapacitate the suspect.

Daniel Nakamura, one of the men who helped Shanor, said he saw Prettypaint attempting to flee.

“I just saw the officer struggling and wanted to see how I could help,” Nakamura said.

Prettypaint was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center for treatment. Shanor went to Community Care to treat abrasions on his hands and knees from the fight.

“The IFPD wishes to thank the two civilians who used prudence in assisting Officer Shanor to restraining Mr. Prettypaint so he could be taken into custody,” the release said.

Capt. Royce Clements said that if the two had not assisted Shanor, both the officer and the suspect could have suffered more serious injuries or been killed.

“That says a lot for our citizenry here, that they were willing to step in and help the officer,” Clements said.

The truck Prettypaint had been driving was found to have been stolen and displayed fictitious plates. Police found suspected methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia in the truck, and multiple lock picks in Prettypaint’s pockets.

The woman Prettypaint had said could move the truck had called police to report that the passenger window of her car had been smashed and that her purse had been stolen from inside the car. The purse later was found with $12 missing.

Security footage from the Maverik gas station on Yellowstone Avenue, where the burglary occurred, showed Prettypaint had parked next to the victim’s car, broken the window and taken the purse. He was driving the same truck Shanor had stopped him in.

After being treated, Prettypaint was booked into Bonneville County Jail and charged with possession of a controlled substance (punishable with up to seven years in prison), assault or battery upon certain personnel (up to 5 years in prison), burglary (10 years in prison), grand theft by receiving, possessing or disposing of stolen property (one to 14 years in prison). Prettypaint also was charged with possession of drug paraphernalia and resisting or obstructing officers, both misdemeanors punishable with up to a year in jail.

Prettypaint’s bond was set at $50,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 16. An extradition hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. Jan. 10 for the warrant from Montana for strangulation of a partner or family member.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.