Law enforcement officials are still looking for a couple who preyed on the good Samaritan instincts of a male motorist on Interstate-86 to allow them to beat him up and steal his wallet last Sunday night about 10 p.m.
“It's a sorry thing when you stop to help someone and get bashed over the head,” said Power County Sheriff Jim Jeffries.
The victim, a 30-year-old Idaho Falls resident, was eastbound on I-86 between American Falls and Pocatello near the Rainbow Road exit when he spotted what appeared to be a disabled automobile with a woman waving her arms to get his attention. The hood on a while 1980s model Honda CRX was up, according to Jeffries. The woman was standing near the rear of the car.
When he walked up to the car, a female suspect described as 5'5” or 5'7” tall and heavy set with shoulder-length black hair and a Hispanic accent asked for help. As the helpful motorist was talking to her, a male suspect, described as 6'3” with a large build came up and punched the Samaritan in the head several times, knocking him to the ground.
The assailant then went through his pockets as the victim was on the ground. The victim's wallet was later taken from his nearby parked vehicle. It was recovered about 25 yards from the scene. According to Sheriff Jeffries the male and female involved in the assault dropped the hood on their Honda and drove off, tossing the wallet out the window.
No cash was stolen because the victim had his money folded in the pocket of his cargo shorts.
Another motorist spotted the victim when he stopped along the interstate to tighten some cargo straps on a load he was hauling about 10 minutes later and notified law enforcement. Both Power County deputies and Idaho State Police responded. The victim was not seriously injured.
“He was just shook up,” said Power County Sgt. Dave Preston, who investigated the crime. “He was pretty upset because he was trying to do the right thing.”
“It's dangerous enough to pull over on the interstate,” Jeffries said. “But it's sad that this is what it has evolved to.”
The sheriff recommended that unless a stranded car and its occupants are know to you, it would be best not to stop for any disabled vehicle, but to call law enforcement instead.
Anyone with any information that might help solve this attack is asked to call the Power County Sheriff's Office at 226-2311.