Ivan Ortega avila

Ortega Avila

A Bonneville County man was arrested Saturday after he reportedly fled from officers in a high-speed chase.

Ivan Eduardo Ortega Avila, 19, was located near the intersection of Old Butte Road and Janessa Lane at about 4:46 a.m. An Idaho Falls Police officer identified the car Ortega Avila was driving as one from a previous chase. Ortega Avila seemed to be stopping when the officer activated his sirens, but he then drove away.

A chase ensued, and Ortega Avila was driving between 70 and 80 miles per hour in a 35 mph speed zone. Ortega Avila also turned his car’s headlights on and off multiple times. Ortega Avila escaped the officer, who slowed down due to the danger Avila posed speeding without lights on while driving in the dark.

A Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office deputy later checked Ortega Avila’s residence. The deputy located Ortega Avila, and he was taken into custody.

Ortega Avila denied fleeing from law enforcement and denied he had been in Idaho Falls that morning. He said a friend had borrowed the car and that he had been in Rigby at the time of the chase. He later said he had been in Idaho Falls, but denied driving in “that part of town.”

Ortega Avila gave conflicting stories, first saying he never saw police lights, then saying he thought they were for another driver.

Ortega Avila was charged with fleeing or attempting to elude police in a motor vehicle, punishable with up to five years in prison. His bond was set at $15,000. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. March 24 in the Bonneville County Courthouse.