Police: Idaho Senate candidate confronted officers with knife before his arrest

David DeHaas.
David DeHaas.

Meridian police arrested an Idaho Senate hopeful last week after he allegedly interfered with their efforts to serve a narcotics warrant at his home, according to court documents.

David DeHaas, a Republican running against incumbent Sen. Maryanne Jordan in Boise's District 17, was charged with misdemeanor obstructing or resisting arrest. In a Tuesday interview, he disputed key details of what police say occurred.

According to a probable cause document, the Meridian Police Impact Team served the search warrant at a residence in the 6300 block of West Randolph Drive in Boise at around 9 a.m. July 3.

Officer Nicholas Kulack said police first made contact with DeHaas in the driveway of the home.

"David immediately became confrontational and started yelling at me. (He) was shouting for me to show him the search warrant and that no one was going to enter his residence," Kulack wrote in the probable cause affidavit.

Kulack said he grabbed DeHaas' left wrist when the man refused to comply with police. Another officer then noticed DeHaas had a knife in his hand, the affidavit states. It's unclear from the document where the knife came from, or for how long DeHaas had held it.

"Sgt. Brockbank told David to drop his knife, which was in his right hand with the blade exposed," Kulack wrote. "I did not initially see this knife but I observed it when I moved David's body. David did let go of the knife but was still extremely tense and not complying with commands to move back."

Police say they then handcuffed DeHaas, who argued with officers as a search team went inside the home to serve the warrant.

michael dehaas.jpg
Michael DeHaas.

Officers said they found Michael DeHaas, David's 20-year-old son, downstairs with several other people. In the downstairs area "where Michael lives," according to the affidavit, police found four stolen firearms — three handguns and one shotgun — and another handgun they believed may have been stolen, Kulack wrote.

According to court documents, police also found $14,000 in individual baggies labeled with the words "molly," "blow" and "weed," along with another bundle of money in a black bag. All those items were located together in an ammo canister.

Police also found what they believe to be drug-packing supplies: baggies, ledgers, empty gel capsules and suspected baking soda, along with paraphernalia including pipes, bongs, grinders and baggies with marijuana residue. Officers found a total of nearly 20.5 grams of a substance that tested presumptive positive for marijuana.

Michael DeHaas and two other individuals — Joewan Davis, 18, and John McCall, 21 — were also arrested. The younger DeHaas faces three felony charges of grand theft by receiving stolen property (one for each handgun), as well as a felony charge for possession of marijuana with intent to deliver and one misdemeanor charge for possession of drug paraphernalia. Davis faces a misdemeanor for frequenting a place where controlled substances are used. McCall, who reportedly had three Xanax on his person, faces the same frequenting charge, as well as a misdemeanor for possession of a controlled substance.

In the affidavit, Kulack said David DeHaas further hindered police as the investigation continued.

"Later in the investigation, David was evasive with me about several stolen firearms located in the residence, delaying my investigation into where the stolen guns came from."

The affidavit differs significantly from David DeHaas' account of events. DeHaas told the Statesman that police declined multiple times to show him a search warrant when they arrived at his front door. According to DeHaas, when officers showed him the warrant, he cooperated fully.

“I'm a nothingburger. They weren’t there for me in the first place," he said. "I didn't have a knife. I didn't have any weapons."

DeHaas said he warned police that there were firearms inside the home, though he told the Statesman he didn't know they were stolen. He also declined to confirm the relationship between himself and Michael DeHaas.

The elder DeHaas told the Idaho Press on Monday that he planned to file a complaint with the Meridian Police Department. He declined to confirm Tuesday whether he still intended to do so.

He called the arrest "ridiculous," but told the Statesman he valued the experience from a candidate's perspective.

"I thought it was a great blessing for me to be able to see the other side of the judicial system," he said.

Jordan, DeHaas' Democratic opponent, said Tuesday that she had few details on the situation and declined to comment.

"I'm going to keep my focus on my district and the issues that are important to my constituents," she said.