A local man who was twice recently released from jail for separate pursuit and battery incidents led law enforcement officers on another high-speed chase on Thursday morning, authorities said.
The incident ended with Kenneth Jensen, 30, of Idaho Falls, being shot by a Bingham County sheriff’s deputy after backing into a police car and then brandishing a rifle, according to the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office.
Thursday morning’s incident began to unfold around 10:30 a.m. at the Sage Hill truck stop and casino near Blackfoot when the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office received a report about a fight going on there.
When Bingham County sheriff’s deputies and Fort Hall police arrived, Jensen drove away in a stolen pickup truck towing a trailer. A woman named Chelsey Christensen of Idaho Falls and a young boy were accompanying Jensen in the pickup, authorities said.
The officers pursued Jensen south on Highway 91 and then east on Ferry Butte Road. The chase crossed Interstate 15 via the Ferry Butte Road overpass and then came to a halt a short distance away where Ferry Butte Road dead-ends.
At this point, Jensen put his pickup in reverse and crashed into a pursuing Fort Hall police car, authorities said. When Jensen then brandished a rifle, he was shot by one of the pursuing sheriff’s deputies and taken into custody, authorities said.
Jensen was transported via ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center in Pocatello, but he refused treatment for his gunshot wound, authorities said.
He was then transported by law enforcement officers on Thursday afternoon to the Bingham County Jail in Blackfoot, where he’s currently being held.
The Sheriff’s Office said Jensen was medically cleared to be booked into jail.
This is the third time in the last two weeks that Jensen has found himself incarcerated.
He was being held in the Bonneville County Jail in Idaho Falls until last week for misdemeanor battery in the presence of a child. After posting $2,000 bond for that incident and being released on March 18, Jensen led law enforcement officers on a chase two days later that started in East Idaho and ended in western Wyoming.
The high-speed pursuit started in Bonneville County when a sheriff’s deputy from that county attempted to pull him over for speeding. The pursuit ended in Lincoln County, Wyoming, when a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper used spike strips to stop Jensen’s Subaru WRX sedan. Jensen then fled on foot but was quickly apprehended by officers.
He was booked into the Lincoln County Jail in Kemmerer, Wyoming, on numerous charges including eluding, reckless driving, speeding and driving under the influence, authorities said. But Jensen was released from jail again following that incident.
In addition the Bonneville County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating whether Jensen and Christensen, the passenger in the stolen pickup, are connected to the separate thefts of the pickup and trailer from Bonneville County residences as well as early Thursday morning attempted burglaries of the Ammon Cabela’s and Pawn 1 stores.
Authorities said Christensen is also facing charges, and she’s currently being held at the Bingham County Jail as well.
The toddler who was with Jensen and Christensen in the stolen pickup is now in the custody of a family member, the Bingham County Sheriff’s Office reported.
Other than Jensen being shot there were no other injuries during Thursday morning’s chase.
The deputy who shot Jensen has been placed on paid leave, as is standard procedure in such cases, pending an investigation into the incident by Idaho State Police.
The Post Register contributed to this story.