Johnathon Forte

Forte

IDAHO FALLS — A local man was arrested Monday after he reportedly broke several bones in a man’s face by punching him.

Johnathon Forte, 19, of Idaho Falls, was located a few blocks from the attack and fit the description given to police. He denied attacking the man. A friend who was with him, however, admitted Forte punched the victim.

According to an Idaho Falls Police Department report, Forte and his friend approached the 46-year-old victim’s house looking for him. The victim was asleep at the time, and his wife told them to leave.

The victim later drove around looking for the pair to ask what they wanted. When he found them near the intersection of Garfield Street and North Fanning Avenue, Forte began yelling at the victim. Forte reportedly told the victim he “messed with the wrong family” and punched him in the face. Forte and his friend fled afterward.

The officer who interviewed the victim noted his face looked caved in and called an ambulance. The victim was taken to Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center. A paramedic confirmed the man had several broken bones in his face.

When Forte was located, he and his friend originally denied knowing about the attack. An officer observed red marks on Forte’s knuckles that he claimed were from surgery. The officer took pictures of both of them and showed them to the victim who identified Forte as the attacker. Forte denied he was in the area.

Forte’s friend told police Forte believed the victim had been involved with a hit and run. He confirmed Forte punched the victim.

Forte was charged with aggravated battery, punishable with up to 15 years in prison. He was released to pretrial services after his arraignment Tuesday. A no-contact order was issued between him and the victim.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. July 23 in Bonneville County Courthouse.

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