Printed on: March 24, 2013

Facebook post leads to arrest

By Mike Mooney
mmooney@postregister.com

A father's decision to post a picture of his battered daughter on Facebook led to the arrest of an Idaho Falls man, authorities said.

Chris Hollis, 18, was arrested Friday night and booked on a charge of felony aggravated battery at the Bonneville County Jail, where he remained Saturday, a jail spokesman said.

Hollis also was charged with resisting arrest after leading officers on a brief foot chase Friday night that covered several blocks, Idaho Falls Police Lt. Curtis Stacey said Saturday.

Additionally, Hollis was wanted on two outstanding misdemeanor warrants, Stacey said.

According to police,

Hollis beat up his girlfriend, 20-year-old Mercedes Wheeler, on March 8.

Wheeler reported the incident March 12, Stacey said.

Reading from a police report, Stacey said Wheeler's injuries included two black eyes, a bruised, swollen and possibly broken nose and bruising on her checks. That description roughly matches a picture of the woman that her father, Mike Wheeler, posted on his Facebook page.

Wheeler also posted pictures of Hollis and a message that included an offer of a cash reward for information leading to Hollis' arrest.

"This is my daughter, what you can see is 2 black eyes and a broken nose -- cigarette burn on her chest and chin. What you can't see is all the black and blue bruises on her ribs and legs and arms," the message said in part.

Wheeler went on to offer a cash reward to the "first person that finds him and gets him arrested ... just call dispatch at 529-1200 ..."

A spokeswoman for the Idaho Falls/Bonneville County Emergency Dispatch Center told the Post Register late Friday that a number of tips were received by dispatchers in the days before Hollis was located an arrested.

"Dispatch received a lot of tips on his whereabouts," Lt. Steve Hunt said.

One of those tips, Hunt said Friday, led officers to a residence on the 2100 block of Evans where Hollis reportedly was staying.

Police officers were waiting for Hollis when he arrived at the residence shortly before 8:30 p.m. Friday.

Hollis took off running and officers gave chase, Stacey said, finally catching up to him on the 800 block of Singletree.

Hollis was found hiding under a trailer and resisted when officers tried to arrest him, Stacey said. He said the officers used pepper spray to subdue Hollis.