Patrol cars torched in Emmett; suspect caught after chase


Four parked Emmett police cars were reportedly burned shortly after midnight Wednesday, and a pursuit some seven hours later ended in an arrest on the Letha Bridge, a Gem County dispatcher said.

But Idaho State Police, leading the arson investigation, declined to comment about the pursuit and apprehension.

“We have a suspect in mind,” ISP spokesman Tim Marsano said about 10:40 a.m., declining to say whether that person was in custody or was involved in the pursuit. He stressed that the investigation is in its early stages.

Gem County Sheriff’s deputies pursued a vehicle from the Emmett intersection of Central and Pioneer in Emmett about 7:20 a.m. Wednesday and ended on the bridge in Letha shortly before 8 a.m., the dispatcher said. No information was immediately available about the suspect, but no injuries were reported.

Emmett resident Tim Rynearson posted photos of the torched patrol cars and an account of the pursuit on Facebook. He said the pursuit ranged across the bench area north of town then headed west to Letha. The police cars were parked at City Hall, he said.

Idaho State Police are investigating the incident as an arson, Emmett police said in a midmorning news release that offered few details. Gem County Dispatch received an early morning call about a fire behind Emmett City Hall, and when crews arrived they found the four patrol cars on fire, police said. Flames were quickly extinguished, and no structures were threatened, police said.

The Emmett Police Department news release did not mention the Gem County pursuit or apprehension, but notes that a person of interest has been identified. The early morning arson is being investigated as an isolated incident, Emmett police said in a news release that reported “a person of interest” but gave few details.

“There is no threat to the public at this time, and the investigation is ongoing,” police said.


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