Star police and fire fighters rescue three teenage rafters who got stuck in the Boise River last weekend

While the Boise River might appear close to normal these days and offer an enticing way to beat the heat, It’s worth it to take another look before getting in.

That’s when you notice how three months worth of flood waters deposited way more trees and debris in the river and on the banks than usual. It’s more hazardous than it appears.

Three teenage girls found that out Saturday evening when their rafts got caught up in trees on the side of the river in Star next to Coriander Lane.

The girls – two are 17-years-old and the other 15 — told Star Police a swift current pushed their inflatable rafts into the trees on the north bank of the river around 7 p.m. Saturday.

The girls were knocked out of the rafts and found themselves stuck and hanging on to the trees in the swift and cold water. (Water temperatures are in the 50s and the river is about 800 cubic feet per second above normal for this time of year).

The girls began yelling for help. Someone heard voices and called 911.

Star police and fire fighters showed up moments later. They got in the river, waded over to where the girls were, formed a chain, and moved them over to a bank where police and fire fighters helped them up.

Paramedics checked out the girls and ended up transporting one to a local hospital as a precaution. The injuries did no appear to be life-threatening.

Prosecutor: Use of deadly force justified in standoff with Nampa man in Kuna neighborhood earlier this year

Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebs has determined all members of the Ada County Sheriff’s Office SWAT team, Boise Police and Meridian Police were justified when they shot a 32-year-old Nampa man in a Kuna neighborhood earlier this year.

Ramon Milanez died at the end of an intense six-hour search and standoff, which involved officers from all three agencies.

Milanez opened fire on a Kuna Police officer during a traffic stop the morning of Jan. 24, ran away, and then spent hours hiding in the Linder/Deer Flat/Hubbard roads neighborhood to avoid arrest.

Loebes reviewed the Ada County Critical Incident Task Force (CITF) report into the shooting of Milanez and determined all the officers “had legitimate fears for their safety, the safety of their fellow officer, and the safety of the general public because of Milanez’s actions.”

Our internal investigation into the actions ACSO SWAT deputies Jeremy Byington, Raul Garcia, Ron Santucci, Cory Feldman, and D.J. Rupert that day is almost complete.

That investigation will determine if deputies followed all ACSO policies during the incident. Boise and Meridian police are in the process of doing similar investigations for their officers.

Loebs reviewed hours of interviews, video recordings, forensic evidence, photographs, and a variety of other reports — all generated and collected by the CITF – before arriving at his conclusion.

The incident began just before 4 a.m. on Jan. 24 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 followed. 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 his pursuit and asked for assistance. That officer was not hit by any bullets.

The officer saw the BMW turn in to the subdivision on the east side of Linder Road. More officers arrived and found the BMW 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.

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, set up a perimeter, and sent a SWAT robot to the home to get some video images.

That video showed Milanez walking around inside with something resembling a handgun, Loebs said.

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 blocked 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. Investigators did not find a handgun at the home on Black Hawk Drive but did find two guns by a backpack Milanez dropped near the home before he broke in.

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.

The Ada County Sheriff’s Office would like to thank the Idaho State Police for their thorough and comprehensive work leading the CITF investigation and Twin Falls County Prosecutor Grant Loebes for reviewing the evidence.


Eagle Police are investigating a range fire north of town earlier this week as arson

Detectives are looking for a curly-haired man who was seen filming a range fire next to N. Willow Creek Road on July 15.

Fire investigators say the blaze was set on purpose – there is evidence the fire was lit on the road and gas was used to move flames from the road to a nearby hillside.

The fire burned about 30 acres east of N. Willow Creek Road, near N. Chantry Way, before crews were able to put it out.

Eagle Fire crews saw smoke from the area just before 5 a.m. as they were fighting another range fire nearby.

A homeowner later told fire fighters a man knocked on their door around 5 a.m. to warn of a grass fire nearby.

When firefighters arrived, they saw a dark-colored SUV parked near the fire. A man sitting inside was filming or taking pictures of the flames, which were about 200 feet away.

The man drove away shortly after firefighters arrived. The man drove back by a short time later and asked if he could go around fire equipment because he needed to go back to Emmett.

Firefighters told him he would need to take an alternate route and he drove away.

The man in the SUV is described as being in his 20s and having a skinny build, with a dark afro hairstyle.

The homeowner didn’t get a really good look at the man who knocked on the door but did say he appeared to be in his 20s and had dark hair.

Detectives do not have any suspects at this point but would like to talk to that man.

Anyone with information should call Eagle Police at 938-2260 or send an email to




Update: Eagle Police identify 18-year-old man accused of exposing himself to a woman inside a grocery store Monday

The incident occurred just after 6:45 p.m. Monday at the Albertson’s on Eagle Road.

The woman told police she was looking at flowers at the front of the store when a young man across from her rolled down his shorts and exposed his genitals to her.

The woman quickly left and walked to a different part of the store. The man followed her through the store.

The woman then went to the check out aisle so she could tell a store employee what happened when the man walked behind her and brushed his arm against her as he walked out of the store.

The man then got into a white PT Cruiser car and drove away.

The woman told police she did not know who the man was.

Eagle Police identified the man Tuesday afternoon as 18-year-old Ty Menzel after someone recognized him on a social media post.

Deputies located and then interviewed Menzel Tuesday night and cited him on a charge of indecent exposure.

We’d like to thank everyone who called or emailed information.




Investigators seek man who used counterfeit $50 bill at frozen yogurt shop

Eagle Police detectives want to know if you recognize a man who paid for two bottles of water with a fake $50 bill earlier this month.

Fake 50 2

The man made the purchase at the Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt shop in the Chinden Boulevard/Linder Road neighborhood around 2 p.m. on July 6.

fake 50 1

He is described as being African-American, about 5 feet 9 inches tall, with long dreadlocks.

Investigators don’t know if the man knew he was using a fake $50 but would like to talk to him to find out.

Anyone with information should contact Eagle Police at 938-2260 or send an email to

Deputies investigating fatal rollover crash on Swan Falls Road

Ada County Sheriff’s Office investigators are working to determine what caused a 61-year-old Eagle man to lose control of his pickup truck on Swan Falls Road Friday night.

Rusty Schwinn died late Friday night at a local hospital from injuries he sustained in the crash.

Deputies were called to investigate a single vehicle rollover on Swan Falls Road near the King Road intersection around 8 p.m. Friday.

The pickup truck was going southbound on Swan Falls Road at a high rate of speed when Schwinn lost control. The truck went off the side of the road and rolled over, coming to a stop on its side.


Schwinn was in the truck by himself and was thrown from the truck during the crash.

Paramedics arrived and took Schwinn to a local hospital, where he was pronounced dead hours later.

Evidence tests show he had a .20 blood alcohol content (BAC) level after the crash, which is more than twice the legal BAC limit of .08 in Idaho.

Officials with the Ada County Coroner’s Office determined the cause of death was blunt force trauma and the manner of death was an accident.


16-year-old boy arrested for shooting teenage girl in the leg earlier this month

A 16-year-old boy is charged with careless handling of a firearm for shooting a 15-year-old girl in the leg earlier this month while he was messing around with a handgun.

Deputies are recommending a misdemeanor charge of providing false information to law enforcement be filed against the girl, who originally said she was shot in the leg by people driving by while she was walking on Ustick Road in the early morning hours of July 3.

Investigators had doubts about the girl’s story from the beginning.

The girl didn’t call 911 to report what happened — and deputies only found out about the shooting after getting a report from a third party that a girl with a bullet wound in her leg was being treated at a local emergency room.

The girl told deputies she was walking on Ustick Road, between Ten Mile and Black Cat roads, just before midnight July 2 when she was hit by a bullet in her leg as a car drove by.

Deputies spent several hours searching that area but did not find any evidence of a shooting.

Detectives interviewed several people and followed numerous leads before determining the shooting actually occurred inside the girl’s home the night of July 2.

The girl was not seriously injured in the shooting. She was treated and released from the hospital hours later.

An arrest warrant was issued for the boy Tuesday. He is also charged with a misdemeanor count of being a minor in possession of a firearm.  The boy turned himself in early Thursday morning.

Deputies are also recommending the 35-year-old man who drove the girl to the hospital be charged with providing false information to law enforcement.

That man originally told deputies he did not know who the girl was but picked her up after she waved him down from the side of the street. It turns out he knew both the girl and the boy.

Anyone with information should call Ada County non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790 or send an email to



Update: Remains of Meridian man found on an island in the Boise River

Ada County Sheriff’s Office detectives are investigating how the body of a 34-year-old Meridian man ended up on a small island in the Boise River just west of Willow Lane.

Detectives began their investigation just after 7 p.m. Monday when member of the public who was in the river saw what appeared to be human remains on the island and called 911.

Garden City Police and members of the Boise Fire River Rescue Team went out to the island and found the body, which was in an advanced state of decomposition.

It is unclear how long the body had been in the water prior to Monday night. The Boise River had been over flood stage for most of the spring and only dropped back down to normal seasonal levels last week.

Officials with the Ada County Coroner’s Office removed the remains early Tuesday morning and did an autopsy.

Coroner’s officials identified the man as Andrew Joseph Lee Gatten. The cause and manner of death are pending. There were no obvious signs of fatal injury.

Coroner’s officials are waiting for the results of evidence tests, which could take several weeks to be processed.

No missing persons reports have been filed for Gatten, who did not appear to have a permanent residence.

Detectives are working to establish the last time Gatten was seen by anybody. He was in the Ada County Jail on a misdemeanor drug charge until he was released on May 4.


Anyone with information should call Ada County non-emergency dispatch at 377-6790 or email



15-year-old girl busted after stealing a pickup truck and then leading deputies on high-speed pursuit

A teenage girl will be charged with felony counts of eluding arrest and grand theft for  stealing a pickup truck early Tuesday morning and then leading deputies on a high-speed pursuit in south Ada County.

The girl was driving at speeds exceeding 100 mph before the pursuit ended on Ten Mile Road, near the Amity Road intersection, after she drove over road spikes.

The incident began around 4 a.m. when an Ada County Sheriff’s Office deputy saw a Ford F-150 going 65 mph in a 40 mph zone on Overland Road by the Maple Grove Road intersection.

The deputy turned on his emergency lights and attempted to pull the truck over when it took off west on Overland at a high rate of speed. The truck went through a red light at Five Mile Road and kept going west at speeds exceeding 100 mph.

The truck kept going west on Overland  before it turned up Eagle Road and eventually went into a field off Franklin Road when the driver lost control as she was trying to turn.

She got the truck out of the field and kept driving, eventually going south on Ten Mile Road, where a deputy was able to deploy spike strips across the road.

Even with deflated tires, the girl kept driving south until the truck came to a stop on Ten Mile Road near Amity Road.

When deputies went to arrest the driver, they discovered four other girls in the truck, ranging in age from 9-to-15-years-old.

All five girls were taken into custody at that point. The case is still under investigation.


Two Boise men are in custody in connection with armed robbery of Eagle teenager

Two Boise men who used Snapchat to develop a relationship with an Eagle teenager before one robbed him last month are charged with conspiracy to commit robbery.

Detectives identified 19-year-old Syrus E. Tomaskovich as the stick-up man and arrested him early Wednesday morning after a traffic stop near Ustick and Mitchell streets in Boise. Deputies found two loaded handguns in Tomaskovich’s car.

Gooding County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested 18-year-old Ervey Tovar earlier Tuesday on an Ada County warrant for conspiracy to commit robbery.

Tomaskovich is being held in the Ada County Jail on a $500,000 bond. Tovar is being held in the Gooding County Jail on a $500,000 bond.

The investigation began May 31 after the teenager contacted Eagle Police and told them he had been robbed at gunpoint near his home the night before.

The teenager said he had developed a friendship with Tovar on Snapchat over a period of months and made arrangements to meet him the night of May 30 so they could drive to California. The teen said he had never met Tovar before that night.

The teen grabbed some cash and some clothes and went outside to meet Tovar.

The teen said he and Tovar walked a short distance before another man, who was holding a gun and wearing a bandana over his face, jumped out from behind a bush and demanded both give up their wallets and cell phones.

The teen said once the robber got those items and ran away Tovar told him to stay put while he went to a nearby house to call police. The teen said Tovar never came back that night — and that he never heard from him again.

Eagle Police began collecting evidence and doing interviews and eventually identified Tomaskovich as the robber and Tovar as his accomplice. Detectives got arrest warrants for both by Tuesday.

Preliminary hearings for both Tomaskovich and Tovar will be set for early July.