Johnny Martinez Mug

Johnny Martinez

A man who reportedly threatened a 10-year-old girl with a knife is in custody.

According to an Idaho Falls Police Department news release, a parent of the girl reported the incident around 2 p.m. The suspect was quickly located and identified as 36-year-old Johnny Martinez, a resident of Idaho Falls.

While Martinez was fleeing on foot, A.H. Bush Elementary School was placed under lockout status due to how close the incident was to the school. The lockout was lifted after Martinez was found.

According to the news release, Martinez approached the child while she was playing in her front yard on Jefferson Avenue and threatened her.

The victim fled inside and told a parent. The adult witnessed Martinez flee on foot.

Police searched the neighborhood and located Martinez about 10 minutes after receiving the report. The department is recommending he be charged with aggravated assault, a felony punishable with up to five years in prison.

Idaho Falls Police Department Public Information Officer Jessica Clements said officers have had prior experience with Martinez. According to court records, Martinez has a criminal history that includes two cases of unlawful possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a controlled substance, and an extensive list of misdemeanors going back to 2001.

In July, Martinez was charged with aggravated assault, but the charge was dismissed two weeks after it was filed. According to court records, the victim said he threatened and chased her with a knife. The victim said Martinez threatened to kill her. Martinez denied threatening or chasing the victim and said he believed she knew of an incident of child sexual abuse.

Reporter Johnathan Hogan can be reached at 208-542-6746.