Why we ask people to refrain from posting live video and pictures during active law enforcement work like a standoff

Kuna Police, Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and dozens of other local law enforcement officers spent six hours Tuesday searching a Kuna neighborhood for a violent man who fired a gun at an officer during a traffic stop — and then ran away, eventually breaking into a home to avoid arrest.

The neighborhood, bordered by Hubbard, Meridian, Deer Flat, and Linder roads, has over 200 homes. There are 12 roads that allow cars to get in or out. It’s a big area, with lots of places for someone to hide, including the grounds of Reed Elementary School. It’s also a neighborhood with hundreds of potential victims for someone who has clearly shown a propensity for violence and a strong desire to avoid arrest.

When we were actively searching that neighborhood Tuesday — knocking on doors to check on people, following footprints in the snow, checking out reports of barking dogs, and setting up officers around potential hiding places — we asked people on Twitter to refrain from streaming live video or posting pictures of the active search on all social media. Some of our followers raised questions about that.

The key word in our request is “active.” Broadcasting the location and movements of law enforcement outside a home — or other area like an outbuilding or field where a violent suspect could be hiding — could give that suspect the info they need to target officers, figure out ways to escape, identify people nearby who could become victims, or spur them into violent action they might not take if they didn’t know what was going on around them.

Showing video or pictures of a search of an area that was just cleared could allow a suspect to double back to that area to hide or get away. Live video and pictures could certainly take away the element of surprise for law enforcement and turn what might have been a quickly resolved incident into a potential siege.

We would never ask the people of Ada County not to document what we do, whether that means recording video or taking pictures. We are public employees, working in the public arena, serving the public good.

What we ask is that people keep public safety in mind when it comes to sharing live video or pictures of active law enforcement activity. We ask that you wait to share them until after the immediate threat has passed or the incident has resolved.

The Pew Research Center estimates that 9-in-10 Americans own a cell phone, with two-thirds of those people owning smart phones. It’s a good bet suspects in situations like the one we had Tuesday have cell phones that can access videos, pictures, and other info on social media.

The No. 1 priority at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office is public safety. Our deputies use their expertise and knowledge — our best tactics — to resolve potentially dangerous and violent situations to protect the public. We are asking people to not potentially compromise that work as it is happening.

CITF task force investigating shooting in Kuna

The Ada County Critical Incident Task Force is investigating the officer-involved shooting of a 32-year-old Nampa man who fired a gun at a Kuna Police officer during a traffic stop early Tuesday morning, ran away, and then broke into a nearby home to avoid arrest.

Kuna Police found Ramon Milanez inside a home in the 400 block of E. Black Hawk Drive after an intensive six-hour long search in a Linder/Deer Flat/Hubbard Roads neighborhood.

Members of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office tactical team set up a perimeter around the home and then shot Milanez as he tried to escape in a stolen car. Milanez was pronounced dead at the scene. No law enforcement officers or other members of the public were injured.

The incident began just before 4 a.m. when a Kuna Police officer attempted to pull over a BMW sedan on Linder Road as part of an investigation into illegal drug activity.

When the driver kept going, the officer began a pursuit. Moments later, the driver pointed a handgun out of the window and fired an estimated 8-to-10 shots at the officer near the E. Wood Owl Drive intersection. The officer immediately stopped the pursuit and asked for assistance. That officer was not hit by any of the bullets.

The officer saw the BMW turn in to the subdivision on the east side of Linder Road. More officers arrived and began the search for the BMW, which they found abandoned on Chapparosa Drive a short time later. The doors were open and no one was inside.

Kuna Police  — with the assistance of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office, Boise Police, and Meridian Police — set up a perimeter around the neighborhood and began to search for Milanez.

Kuna Police asked people in the neighborhood to lock their homes and keep their children inside while officers searched the area.

The search took hours as officers investigated numerous leads — including footprints in the snow, open doors on outbuildings, and barking dogs — and knocked on dozens of doors checking on people before they tracked Milanez down to a home in the 400 block of E. Black Hawk Drive around 10:30 a.m.

The homeowner told police he didn’t know Milanez or how he got into the house.  Officers quickly got the people in nearby homes out while members of the tactical team moved into place and set up a perimeter. Officers saw Milanez  walking around inside and holding a handgun.

Officers tried to call his cell phone but Milanez did not answer. Around 11 a.m. the garage door opened. Officers saw Milanez get into a car and try to back out of the driveway. A Boise Police officer working with the tactical team, who had an armored vehicle parked nearby, drove over and hit the car before it could get out of the driveway.

That is when members of the tactical team fired at Milanez in the car. He was pronounced dead a short time later.

The five Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputies on the tactical team who fired are Jeremy Byington, Raul Garcia, Ron Santucci, Cory Feldman, and D.J. Rupert.

Byington has been with the ACSO since 2004, Garcia since 2001, Santucci since 2002, Feldman since 2001, and Rupert since 2008.

Boise Police officers who worked with the tactical team and fired are Cpl. David Leavitt and Luis Gutierrez. Leavitt has been with Boise Police for 18 years, and Gutierrez for 11, after 7 years with the ACSO.

The Meridian Police officer who worked with the tactical team is a 37-year-old man who has been with the department for 12 years.

The case is under active investigation and evidence is still being collected at the scene. Investigators located shell casings on Linder Road by the Wood Owl Drive intersection. They also found a backpack they suspect the man dropped in a backyard several hundred feet away from the E. Black Hawk Drive home.

Officers located two handguns, bullets and a piece of metal by the backpack.  Reports of a grenade being seen or found nearby turned out to be false.

Ada County Coroner’s Office officials publicly identified Milanez early Wednesday afternoon and listed his cause of death as multiple gunshot wounds.

Deputies arrested 35-year-old Stephanie M. Prieto and charged her with a misdemeanor count of resisting and obstructing officers in connection with the case.

Investigators say Prieto was a passenger in the BMW when the initial shooting occurred early Tuesday morning. She ran away from the car and officers did not locate her until several hours later at a gas station in Meridian.

The Critical Incident Task Force does an independent investigation of all uses of lethal force by law enforcement in Ada County. The Idaho State Police is the lead investigative agency for this incident. Investigators are still determining how many shots were fired.

Kuna Police worked closely with the Kuna School District officials Tuesday morning. School officials cancelled classes for the day at Reed Elementary School, which is in the neighborhood. Kuna School District officials contacted all the parents of Reed students directly.

Other Kuna School District students in the neighborhood were excused from attending class so they could remain safe inside their homes while officers searched for the shooting suspect.

Classes were still held at nearby Kuna High School. Police officers and school officials monitored the parking lots and doors and made sure all students got inside safely.

Nampa police arrest 15-year-old accused of breaking into cars in Kuna last month

Nampa police arrested a teenage boy Monday who is accused of breaking into unlocked cars and stealing a handful of vehicles from all across the Treasure Valley last month – including two from Kuna.

Nampa police also recovered one of the three guns they suspect the boy took from unlocked cars in Kuna on Dec. 26  and continue to search for the others.

The 15-year-old boy is a suspect in car burglaries and car thefts from all over the Treasure Valley — including Kuna, Star, Nampa, and Homedale — since he was reported as a runaway in November.

Two of the vehicles reported stolen in Kuna — a Toyota Four-Runner on Dec. 26 and a Ford Mustang on Dec. 30 — were driven to Nampa, abandoned, and set on fire.

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Kuna and Nampa police and deputies from the Ada and Canyon County Sheriff’s Offices were checking out leads when Nampa police located a stolen car Monday morning near the 12th Avenue Road/Florida Avenue neighborhood.

Police were able to follow tracks in the snow from that stolen car to a nearby apartment building, where the boy was found hiding in an attic crawlspace.

Nampa police interviewed then arrested the boy on probation violation and runaway charges. He remains in custody but has not yet been charged with any car burglary, car theft, or arson crimes yet. That is expected to happen soon.

Anyone with information should call Kuna Police at 577-3860.

 

ACTION team arrests Payette man after brief standoff in Kuna Wednesday morning

Deputies with our ACTION team arrested 29-year-old Chad D. Bond at the conclusion of a brief standoff at a home on East Boise Street in Kuna Wednesday morning.

Bond has active arrest warrants from Kootenai and Payette counties. Members of the Greater Idaho Fugitive Task Force  (GIFT) had been searching for Bond for several days when they located him inside a home in Kuna Wednesday morning.

Members of our ACTION team, which is part of GIFT, surrounded the home just after 10 a.m. and used a speaker to order him out.

There were several other people in the home but our deputies quickly determined Bond was not keeping them inside against their will. At one point, it appears Bond accidentally fired one shot from a handgun into the floor of the home.

It was right after that when Deputies were able to talk to Bond over the phone. He then walked out and surrendered. Deputies arrested Bond without further incident and booked him into the Ada County Jail.

The deep snow in the area meant nearby Hubbard Elementary School was closed, which made the area much more secure and provided an opportunity for the GIFT task force to arrest Bond. The snow also meant it would be much harder for Bond to try to get away.

28-year-old Boise man charged with felony injury to child

Deputies declared a 3-year-old girl to be in imminent danger over the weekend after they discovered she had easy access to syringes and other drug paraphernalia — and was living in unsanitary conditions — at her south Ada County home.

Deputies charged the girl’s father, 28-year-old Jeffery T. Hunter, with felony injury to child. He is being held in the Ada County Jail and is set to make his initial court appearance Tuesday afternoon.

Deputies began their investigation just before 7 p.m. Sunday after getting a report about living conditions in the home, which is in the Five Mile Road/Tanglewood Drive neighborhood.

When deputies arrived and talked to Hunter at the door of the home, they could see that the oven inside the house was on, with the heating element glowing orange and the oven door open. The carpet was dirty and there were holes in the wall. Deputies could also smell marijuana.

Right after deputies walked into the home, they saw a syringe on an easy chair, which was easily accessible to the toddler. There were also exposed wires coming from an electrical outlet and at least one knife lying on the counter in the kitchen.

Hunter told them the oven was on and open to heat the house because the heater did not work. The home did not have running water or a working toilet, and the toilet and tub had fecal matter on them. Deputies also found a dark tar-like substance on drug paraphernalia that is being tested to determine if it is heroin.

Deputies declared the toddler to be in imminent danger and placed her in the custody of the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare.

They then arrested Hunter and took him to the Ada County Jail.

The crime of felony injury to child is punishable by up to 10 years in prison.

Kuna neighborhoods latest to be hit by opportunistic car burglars

At least seven people who left their cars or trucks unlocked in Kuna Monday night woke up to find items missing from inside — including three guns from three different vehicles.

If there is one concept we here at the Ada County Sheriff’s Office would like our residents to embrace above all others, it would be: lock your stuff up.

The best way to avoid being a victim of theft is to make sure your homes and vehicles are locked all the time.

People who live in neighborhoods all over Kuna, including the Avalon St./School Road and Ten Mile Road/4th Street areas, had items taken from unlocked cars, including two handguns and a rifle.

Thieves also stole items like sunglasses and change from other unlocked cars and trucks in the area.

There have been numerous cases over the years of people “jockeyboxing” – which means they walk through neighborhoods and check to see if cars and trucks — and garage doors — are locked. If they are not, thieves then go through and steal anything of value.

So lock your cars and trucks. Lock your front doors. Lock your garage doors. Lock the side doors to your garage. Just lock it all up – you’ll likely be glad you did.

Anyone with information should call Kuna Police at 577-3860.

46-year-old Boise man charged with aggravated battery, robbery, and kidnapping

The discovery of a man wearing only socks while standing on the side of Pleasant Valley Road early Friday morning has resulted in the arrest of a Boise man for second-degree kidnapping.

Clifford M. Cole is also charged with felony counts of aggravated battery and robbery in connection with the case.

Deputies arrested the 46-year-old Cole outside his Boise home Monday morning and booked him into the Ada County Jail, where he is being held on a $500,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for Jan. 3.

Deputies began their investigation just after 3:30 a.m. Friday. An Idaho Department of Correction employee driving down Pleasant Valley Road saw a naked man standing on the side of the road just past the Hollilynn Drive Intersection. The naked man was also bleeding from the head.

It was snowing and the temperature was 31 degrees when the man was found wearing only his socks. The IDOC employee called dispatch and took the man to the nearest facility to get him out of the elements as soon as possible. Paramedics took him to a local hospital for treatment.

Deputies later determined the man was driven out to the desert a short time before and forced to take off his clothes by another man, later identified as Cole, who was angry about an unpaid debt.

The man said Cole stole the his backpack, which had his cell phone and a laptop, and then hit him in the head with the butt of a handgun and threatened further injury if he didn’t pay.

The man said Cole then drove away and left him off the side of the road.

FBI offering a $10k reward for info leading to arrest, conviction of bank robber

Kuna Police are still looking for the machete-carrying man who robbed the U.S. Bank on W. Main Street on Oct. 21 — and the FBI is offering a $10,000 reward to whoever is able to provide info that leads to his arrest and conviction.

Kuna Police were called to the bank just after 1 p.m. on Oct. 21. Witnesses say a man walked in wearing a dark hooded sweatshirt and dark jeans, with a mask or bandanna covering the bottom of his face, and holding a machete-type knife.

kuna-robber

The man went up to a clerk and demanded cash. After getting an undisclosed amount of money, he ran out of the bank and headed southeast.

Kuna Police arrived moments later and did an intensive search of the area but weren’t able to find him.

Investigators suspect the same man robbed the Idaho Independent Bank in Meridian on Nov. 21 while holding a meat cleaver.

Anyone with information should call Ada County dispatch at 377-6790 or the Salt Lake City FBI Office at (801) 579-1400.

Deputies investigating Saturday morning fatal traffic crash on Linder Road

A 25-year-old Eagle woman died Saturday after the car she was in went off the side of Linder Road and rolled over at least once before ending up on a fence.

Jayme Ballard was the front seat passenger. The 28-year-old male driver and a 4-year-old boy in the back seat avoided serious injury in the crash.

Deputies determined the man was driving a 2004 Cadillac coupe southbound on Linder Road, near the Hatchery Road intersection, just before 11:30 a.m. Saturday when he lost control of the car.

The car flipped over and ended up in a field on the east side of the road.

fatal

The driver and boy were able to get out of the car.

Paramedics transported Ballard to a local hospital for treatment, where she was pronounced dead a short time later.

It appears everyone was wearing seatbelts.

Ada County Coroner officials have determined Ballard’s cause of death was blunt force trauma and the manner of death was accidental.

The crash is still under investigation and no citations have been issued.

Deputies seize 40+ pounds of pot in Boise hotel room

A Treasure Valley trio are being held in the Ada County Jail after ACSO deputies found over 40 pounds of pot in their hotel room last week.

Maxine Dearing, Lucas Graham, and James Rhodes are all charged with trafficking marijuana in connection with the case. Preliminary hearings are set for Dec. 7.

Deputies were called to a hotel in the 8000 block of W. Overland Road around 1 p.m. Nov. 22 to investigate a complaint about the smell of marijuana coming from a room.

Deputies arrived to find the 36-year-old Dearing and 33-year-old Graham walking out of the room carrying a cardboard box, which had two plastic bags inside full of marijuana.

pot-bust-1

After a short discussion, Dearing unlocked the door to the hotel room and deputies were about to enter when another man inside, later identified as 46-year-old Rhodes, pushed the door shut.

Rhodes eventually opened the door after taking to deputies. When they went in, deputies saw marijuana residue all over Rhodes. Deputies then found several plastic garbage bags full of marijuana, a marijuana-trimming device, packaging materials like plastic bags, and various items of drug paraphernalia.

pot-bust-2

All three were arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail.

The crime of trafficking marijuana is punishable by up to 15 years in prison.