That wrong-way pickup-truck driver in Downtown Boise? Boise police said Sunday that they were seeking information about him. But it turns out police had already been chasing him before he ended up Downtown.
The driver, a Meridian man, drove onto a sidewalk on 8th Street and into oncoming traffic, forcing pedestrians to dive out of the way. Police put out a news release later Sunday, citing witness accounts and asking people who knew anything to call.
What they didn’t say is that they had spotted the man, identified Monday as Quentin Craig Padilla, 31, driving a black 2015 Chevrolet Silverado near the intersection of West Westland Drive and West Fairview Avenue at 12:36 a.m. Sunday. The officers knew Padilla had outstanding warrants and tried to pull him over.
The omissions in the first news release were a result of internal miscommunication on a holiday weekend, Boise police spokeswoman Lynn Hightower said Tuesday. “Forgive the confusion,” Hightower said.
Here’s what police say happened:
After officers tried to stop him at the Westland-Fairview intersection, Padilla sped away. Police did not pursue him but alerted other officers to keep an eye out for the Silverado.
Over the next hour, several Boise police officers spotted Padilla and tried to pull him over. He continued to elude officers and tried to ram more than a dozen patrol cars.
His arrival on 8th Street between Bannock and Idaho streets prompted phone calls. “We got reports of somebody trying to run over people on the sidewalk,” Hightower said.
Officers were not chasing Padilla at that moment. “There were public safety issues with an active pursuits, so the active pursuits were pretty short-lived,” she said.
Padilla left Downtown and fled back west. Officers later used a precision mobilization technique, or PIT maneuver, to force him to turn the truck and lose control. As intended, that brought the truck to a stop near near North Cole Road and West Fairview Avenue.
Padilla refused to come out of the Silverado. He was arrested after a brief struggle.
Police found Padilla with a white powder and paper tabs that tested positive for methamphetamine and LSD.
He was arraigned Tuesday afternoon and charged with 14 counts of aggravated assault among a police officer, one count for each officer who was endangered by Padilla’s actions, Hightower said.
He was also charged with unlawful possession of a weapon by a convicted felon, resisting or obstructing police, attempt to elude police, theft by receiving, possession of drug paraphernalia and two counts of possession of a controlled substance.
No charges have been brought yet against Padilla concerning any bystanders that he might have endangered. Detectives are still collecting information on those incidents, and further charges could be brought, Hightower said.
“All of that part still remains under investigation,” she said. “If anyone was a victim of that, please call in.” Call 377-6790 or Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.
Padilla was being held Tuesday in the Ada County Jail on $2.5 million bail. A lawyer from the Ada County Public Defender’s Office was appointed to represent him.
He had been named as a “person of interest” after a 19-year-old woman was reported as abducted May 12 in Nampa. Witnesses told police they saw Cassandra Rupert beaten and forced into a black Lincoln Navigator SUV in the area between Roosevelt Avenue and Blakes Creek Avenue, near Franklin D. Roosevelt Elementary School. Police said Padilla was Rupert’s former boyfriend.
Rupert was found safe a day later. Nampa Police Sgt. Joe Ramirez said Tuesday that Nampa officers “will be interviewing (Padilla) and then determine whether any charges will be filed.”
The Nampa incident also involved a brief vehicle chase. Nampa officers came across the Navigator and tried to pull it over shortly after the report of an abduction but broke off pursuit to avoid danger to the public.