CHUBBUCK — A 27-year-old fugitive was recaptured Thursday afternoon, a few hours after police said he somehow managed to escape from a patrol car, despite being locked inside with his hands cuffed behind him.
Samiir Blade Afraid of Bear, of Fort Hall, was apprehended for a second time Thursday shortly after 2 p.m., following a standoff that lasted more than two hours at the Avalon Park Apartments on Mesquite Drive.
Pocatello’s SWAT team ultimately entered the apartment building and managed to arrest Afraid of Bear without breaking down a door or causing harm to the suspect or others, said Chubbuck Police Chief Bill Guiberson.
Afraid of Bear is wanted on several outstanding warrants for felony crimes he’s accused of committing.
The prolonged ordeal with Afraid of Bear started at about 8:30 a.m. Thursday morning, when a deputy U.S. marshal, acting on information obtained through his investigation, and two Chubbuck police officers responded to a residence on Adams Street in Chubbuck. The deputy marshal declined to offer details regarding what led him to Adams Street.
“We got him out of the house. He didn’t want to come out of the house,” the deputy marshal said.
The deputy marshal said he and the two Chubbuck officers had Afraid of Bear handcuffed in the patrol car while they briefly met with residents inside the home as part of their investigation. When they returned to the car, the window was shattered — they believe Afraid of Bear kicked it out — and the suspect was nowhere to be found.
Guiberson estimated Afraid of Bear was left unattended for no more than a minute.
Chubbuck police sent a community-wide text message alert at 9:40 a.m. Thursday indicating they were in the area of Adams Street off Yellowstone Avenue attempting to recapture Afraid of Bear.
Idaho State Police, members of the Bannock County Sheriff’s Office and Pocatello police joined in the search for Afraid of Bear following his escape from the patrol car.
“We were following every lead we possibly could get,” Guiberson said, adding the investigation led police to the apartment complex.
Guiberson said no other arrests were made in connection with Afraid of Bear’s case on Thursday, and investigators are still piecing together the evidence to determine additional charges to present Friday to the Bannock County Prosecutors Office. He said the case remains active, and it’s unclear if anyone will be charged as an accessory.
“Any time we are involved in an incident of this magnitude, that’s this big, we always try to debrief those and see if there are ways to improve and things we can do better,” Guiberson said.
Among his alleged offenses, Afraid of Bear has been charged with burglary, robbery and aggravated battery in connection with the Jan. 1 robbery of a Short Stop convenience store in Bingham County.
Then on July 5 Afraid of Bear was allegedly involved in an attempted carjacking in Ammon and subsequent high-speed chase through several East Idaho counties.