Earlier Wednesday morning, Idaho Falls Police Officers arrested Dakota Clifford, a 24-year-old Idaho Falls resident, for Felony Aggravated Assault, Felony Eluding, Misdemeanor Unlawful Entry, and on three outstanding Felony Bonneville County Warrants. The warrants were for bail violations. The original charges were Felony Trafficking charges.
Shortly after 2 a.m. Idaho Falls Police Officers responded to a 911 call that a disturbance involving a firearm was in progress near Oxbow Lane. According to the caller, she had been delivering newspapers with her children in the car when she noticed a vehicle that she believed to be suspicious. At one point the woman drove by the suspicious vehicle and the driver pointed what the victim believed to be a black handgun out the window at her. She drove away from the suspicious vehicle and called 911. When she called 911, the suspect vehicle was still behind her and appeared to be chasing her through the neighborhood and out onto Sunnyside Road. The woman later reported to Officers that she feared for her life.
Idaho Falls Police Officers immediately responded to the area. An IFPD Officer located the two vehicles and intercepted the suspect vehicle in an attempt to make a traffic stop. The suspect vehicle fled from the officer and engaged the officer in a vehicle pursuit through the area. The Officer reported that the suspect vehicle repeatedly reached speeds of 65-70 miles an hour, well over the posted speed limits for the area, ran multiple red lights, and drove into the opposite lanes all within a short time period attempting to elude the Officer. The Officer followed at lesser speeds attempting to keep the vehicle in sight, while also not endangering other drivers on the roadway.
The Officer followed the suspect to the area of East 25th Street where he found that the suspect, identified as Dakota Clifford, had crashed his vehicle into a gate on Richards Avenue. Officers searched the vehicle and found a loaded black shotgun in the vehicle and items with Clifford’s name on them. A loaded magazine belonging to a 9mm handgun was found outside the vehicle on the ground.
Officers conducted a thorough and lengthy search of the area in shrubbery, backyards, and other areas searching for Clifford. An AlertSense text notification was sent to residents in the immediate area in an effort to notify residents that Officers were searching for Clifford and to lock their doors. Officers stayed in the area searching for Clifford for multiple hours, but he was not located at that time.
At approximately 7:30 a.m., Idaho Falls Police Dispatch received a 911 call from a resident on Legend Circle that a man was in their living room. The man was found when the homeowners woke up and began moving around their home.
The man and woman residing in the home were able to safely exit through a window. Idaho Falls Police Officers responded and surrounded the home to ensure that Clifford could not exit the home unseen. Due to the involvement of firearms earlier in the morning, Officers believed that Clifford may be armed inside the home creating an unsafe situation for Officers and residents in the area. The Idaho Falls Police SWAT team responded and a Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office K9 Deputy responded to assist. An Alert Sense notification was sent to residents in the immediate area and Officers knocked on neighbor’s doors advising them of the police activity.
IFPD Officers made several efforts to verbally call Clifford out of the house including by phone, but Clifford refused to engage with Officers or to come out of the house. The IFPD SWAT team made entry into the home to locate Clifford. With the help of the Sheriff’s Department K9, Clifford was found hiding inside the residence in a closet behind luggage and was taken into custody by the IFPD SWAT Team. At this time it is believed that Clifford entered the home through an unlocked door.
The Idaho Falls Police Department would like to thank the home owners and residents in the area for their patience and understanding as Officers worked to bring this situation to a safe resolution. Throughout the response, the on-scene SWAT Commander, Sergeant and other Officers spoke with the homeowners multiple times. The homeowners expressed concern multiple times for the officer’s safety. Their kindness and support is very much appreciated, and we wish them the best as they move forward from this ordeal.
The Idaho Falls Police Department, Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office, and Idaho Falls Fire Department utilize a program called AlertSense to notify residents of significant police activity, gas leaks, fires and other significant events in the city and county. Residents are encouraged to sign up for AlertSense and to register their cell phone numbers in the program to ensure that they will receive these notifications in the future. Register for AlertSense here: https://public.alertsense.com/SignUp/public.aspx?regionid=1412