Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hailey police chase leads to felony arrest

Alleged thief wanted for assault on Ada County jailers

Express Staff Writer

Kaleb Andrew Shurtz

    Two beer thefts reported last month in the Wood River Valley led to a felony arrest in Hailey on Thursday.
    Part-time Hailey resident Kaleb Andrew Shurtz was chased on foot by Hailey police through the Woodside subdivision and apprehended on Jan. 30.
    Shurtz, 20, is being held at the Blaine County jail without bond, based on a warrant from Ada County stemming from alleged assaults on two police officers. According to Ada County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Patrick Orr, Shurtz pleaded guilty in August to aggravated assault on two jailers during a “skirmish” at the county jail. He was sentenced to a mental-health court program in Ada County on Nov. 1, but failed to show up for a regular appointment with the court on Jan. 15, officials said.

They [Hailey police officers] knew Shurtz had an active nationwide warrant for aggravated assault on a police office in Boise.”
Jeff Gunter
Police chief

    The violation of probation led to a warrant being issued for Shurtz’ arrest, Orr said.
    Shurtz apparently then came to the Wood River Valley, where he has family.
    In Blaine County, Shurtz now faces two felony counts of burglary, one charge of resisting arrest and two misdemeanor charges of petit theft. A preliminary hearing is set for Feb. 21.
     “There are ties through his criminal record to California also,” Hailey Police Chief Jeff Gunter said. “He does move around quite a bit.”
    Gunter said the arrest was a major one.
    “It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a nationwide warrant without a bond in it,” he said.
    Gunter said Hailey police officers were dispatched Thursday to Ridge Rock Lane in Hailey after someone reported a “suspicious person” in a resident’s backyard. Police then spotted Shurtz walking down Baldy View Drive in north Woodside.
    “The person was known to police officers as a suspect in two active burglary investigations,” Gunter stated in a news release. “They also knew Shurtz had an active nationwide warrant for aggravated assault on a police officer in Boise.”
    According to the release, when police approached Shurtz, he took off running, and a foot pursuit ensued through several yards in north Woodside. About 20 minutes later, police found him hiding between two parked cars in a driveway on Ponderosa Drive, several blocks from where the pursuit began.
    Shurtz is charged with two counts of petit theft for allegedly stealing beer from Splash and Dash in Bellevue on Jan. 25, and for stealing beer from Albertsons in Hailey on Jan. 29.
    Shurtz was arrested in Hailey in 2012 and charged with a misdemeanor count of battery and with spraying gang-related graffiti. He was convicted of the battery charge, but a malicious injury to property charge was dismissed.
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