Independence Day is busy in Idaho Falls, and police reported numerous calls including traffic accidents, assaults and illegal use of fireworks.
All 88 Idaho Falls police officers, all 12 dispatchers and various other support personnel worked on Thursday to staff the Independence Day parade that morning and the Mountain View Hospital Riverfest and the Melaleuca Freedom Celebration later in the day. Other than staffing these events, officers responded to 138 calls for service on Thursday and 21 more early in the morning of Friday.
Those calls included 11 traffic accidents, multiple calls for lost or found animals, fireworks, driving under the influence, various disturbances and five assaults. There were also multiple calls for lost children at the Riverfest and Freedom Celebration. All children were found and reunited with their parents without incident.
Police said notable calls included two traffic accidents with injuries, one possibly involving an intoxicated driver, and two disturbances that led to charges for battery on an officer and other offenses.
At 2:53 a.m. Thursday, officers responded to a report of a crash near the intersection of Jefferson and Anderson streets and found a vehicle that was upside down and had flames coming from the engine area. The officer was able to put the flames out with a fire extinguisher before firefighters and medical personnel arrived. The vehicle’s occupant was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. Police said the vehicle appears to have left the road at a high rate of speed before hitting a power pole and a tree and rolling over. Police think alcohol was a factor and charges are pending.
There was another accident at 11:30 a.m., shortly after the parade, on East 17th Street near Dairy Queen. Police said a vehicle headed west in the left lane made an improper lane change, striking the front end of another vehicle, and then overcorrected, driving into the eastbound lane and hitting two vehicles headed east. The road was blocked for about an hour and two people were taken to EIRMC with serious injuries.
At 10:58 p.m., police responded to a disturbance on Royal Avenue and found a man later identified as Ronald Joslin, 34, of Idaho Falls, who “appeared intoxicated, agitated, and refused to cooperate with officers” and “displayed a knife while arguing with officers.” Police said Joslin dropped the knife but started fighting with officers, punching one. Police used a Taser on Joslin to subdue and handcuff him, and he was taken to EIRMC for a medical clearance, then brought to Bonneville County Jail. He is being charged with battery on an officer and misdemeanor domestic battery.
At 11:11 p.m., police responded to a reported assault near the Idaho Falls Power Plant. Brandon Warren, 39, of Afton, Wyo., left the area on foot. Police found him at the Maverick on South Yellowstone Avenue, where they arrested him on an outstanding warrant. Police said he resisted arrested, kicking and fighting with police and then with jail staff while he was being booked. He is being charged with resisting and obstructing and battery on a police officer and more charges are pending, police said.
Fire department spokeswoman Kerry Hammon said there were several fireworks-related fire calls and one medical call for a fireworks injury in Jefferson County. Also, she said, there were some small fires along the riverbank due to the Melaleuca fireworks show, but firefighters were prepared for these and put them out quickly. The day was uneventful in general, she said.
“Overall it was a great day,” she said.
Hammon said firefighters responded to a few calls for field fires, one of which was caused by a a bonfire. Also, she said, some people tried to bring mortars to the Melaleuca show.
“Leave the big fireworks to Melaleuca,” Hammon said.