POCATELLO — Authorities have released the names of the suspects involved in an attempted carjacking last Friday and ensuing high-speed chases through multiple eastern Idaho counties.
Three suspects were involved in a 5 p.m. Friday attempted carjacking and subsequent high-speed chase that occurred in Bonneville County and a second high-speed chase through Bingham and Bannock counties that started around 7 p.m. Friday, authorities said.
One of the three suspects, Andrew Michael Pebeahsy, 28, of Fort Hall, has remained on the loose since last Friday’s incidents.
Authorities have identified Pebeahsy and the following two other individuals as being involved in Friday’s incidents: Jaze Lucan Morales, 19, of Pocatello, and Samiir Blade Afraid of Bear, 27, of Fort Hall. None of the suspects were believed to be armed.
Authorities said a fourth individual, a woman, was a passenger in the suspects’ vehicle during Friday’s incidents, but it was determined that she was not a participant and she will not be charged with any crime.
In Bonneville County, Pebeahsy has been charged with one count of felony eluding and Afraid of Bear faces one count of misdemeanor attempted unlawful entry.
In Bingham County, Pebeahsy faces an additional count of felony eluding, Morales faces one count of misdemeanor resisting and obstructing police officers, and an arrest warrant has been issued for Afraid of Bear for failing to appear in court on charges of burglary, robbery and aggravated battery in connection to his alleged role in a Jan. 1 robbery of the Short Stop convenience store in Idaho Falls.
Authorities previously told the Journal that Afraid of Bear and one of the other suspects, identified on Thursday as Morales, had been arrested last Friday night and Saturday morning, respectively. However, authorities clarified on Thursday that Afraid of Bear was detained last Friday night, questioned and later released from Bingham County Sheriff’s Office custody. An arrest warrant has now been issued for Afraid of Bear.
Morales was arrested on Saturday morning, booked into the Bingham County Jail and released on her own recognizance on Monday, authorities said.
Pebeahsy has continued to evade police capture since Friday’s incidents.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office told the Journal on Thursday that the incident there began to unfold when Afraid of Bear approached a woman sitting inside her parked vehicle in the T.J. Maxx retail store parking lot in Ammon.
Afraid of Bear allegedly tried to enter the woman’s vehicle, but all of its doors were locked, authorities said. Afraid of Bear then began knocking on her vehicle’s windows while one of the other suspects approached her vehicle.
Fearing for her safety, the woman sped away and dialed 911.
With the woman’s help, responding Bonneville County sheriff’s deputies were able to identify the suspects in a parked vehicle in the T.J. Maxx parking lot. When the deputies ordered the four suspects to exit the vehicle, Pebeahsy drove away at a high rate of speed, the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office stated.
Bonneville County sheriff’s deputies initially pursued the car that Pebeahsy was driving with the other suspects as passengers, but the deputies stopped the pursuit for safety reasons when Pebeahsy started driving into oncoming traffic, authorities said.
The Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office alerted all nearby law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for the suspects, and at 7 p.m. last Friday Bingham County sheriff’s deputies spotted the suspects’ vehicle traveling on Shilling Avenue in Blackfoot and initiated a pursuit.
A high-speed chase ensued with the Bingham County deputies chasing the suspects’ vehicle into Bannock County.
Bannock County sheriff’s deputies soon joined in the vehicular chase, which eventually ended at the top of Rapid Creek Road north of Inkom when the suspects ditched the car and fled on foot into the mountainous terrain.
Afraid of Bear was apprehended a short time later on Friday night and Morales was arrested on Saturday morning, both in the Rapid Creek Road area.
The Southeastern Idaho STAR SWAT team was deployed to help sheriff’s deputies and state troopers search the mountains north of Inkom for the suspects last Friday night and Saturday morning. The state police deployed a drone to look for the suspects from above and U.S. Forest Service personnel also helped with the search.
Arrest warrants have been issued for both Pebeahsy and Afraid of Bear. Morales is due back at the Bingham County Courthouse in Blackfoot for a pre-trial conference on July 30.
If convicted of the charges against them, Pebeahsy faces up to 10 years in prison and $100,000 in fines, Afraid of Bear faces up to life in prison for his alleged role in the January robbery, and Morales faces up to six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.