POCATELLO — A man who threatened to detonate a stick of dynamite in a residential neighborhood was taken into custody by Pocatello police on Saturday night during an incident that caused evacuations and temporarily shut down a city street, police said.
The incident began to unfold around 8:30 p.m. Saturday when the girlfriend of the man contacted Pocatello police because he had been threatening to blow up the city with dynamite, police said.
When police officers responded to the man’s home in the 600 block of North 10th Avenue near Pocatello City Hall, the man was outside his residence holding the stick of dynamite, police said.
The man told the officers that he planned to blow himself up with the dynamite, police said.
A standoff between the officers and man ensued outside his residence and the man began threatening to blow up the officers, police said.
In response to the man’s threats, police said they closed the 600 block of North 10th Avenue to all traffic, evacuated two houses near the man’s home, and called for the Pocatello Fire Department to respond to the neighborhood.
Around 9 p.m. Saturday the man armed with the dynamite approached police officers at the intersection of North 10th Avenue and East Bridger Street. When the man wouldn’t surrender the dynamite Pocatello police shot him with a bean-bag round from a shotgun, police said.
The bean-bag round temporarily incapacitated the man so that he could be taken into custody.
Police said the man did not appear to be injured by the bean-bag round, but he was transported via Fire Department ambulance to Portneuf Medical Center to be medically cleared.
Police confirmed the man was in the custody of PMC’s Behavior Health Center for mental health treatment on Monday afternoon. Police said he will be criminally charged after his release from the unit.
Police would not release the man’s name but they said he’s around 60 years old.
After the man was taken into custody the residents in the two houses who were evacuated were allowed to return to their homes.
But the 600 block of North 10th remained shut down to traffic until the Idaho Falls Bomb Squad arrived around 12:10 a.m. Sunday and removed the stick of dynamite, which was on the ground near the North 10th and East Bridger intersection where the man dropped it after he was shot by the bean-bag round. The Bomb Squad is going to dispose of the dynamite by detonating it at a safe location.
When asked by police how he got the stick of dynamite, the man said his grandfather gave it to him 20 or 30 years ago, police said.