Police seek additional victims of rampaging 14-year-old

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At about 9:40 p.m. Sunday, March 24, Bonners Ferry Police officers were dispatched to assist a transport officer under contract with Turning Winds School, Troy, Montana. Turning Winds school is a therapeutic boarding school for teenagers suffering mental health and substance abuse disorders.

The 14-year-old Turning Winds resident (name withheld due to his being a juvenile) was being transported to a medical facility in Coeur d’ Alene when the transport driver made a brief stop at Boundary Community Hospital. While there, the male juvenile battered the transport driver and possibly a health care provider before fleeing on foot. The juvenile was known to have a history of burglary and auto theft.

Officers from the Bonners Ferry Police Department, Boundary County Sheriff’s Office and US Border Patrol responded in attempts to locate the teen to no avail. The search remained active in the Northside neighborhood until approximately 12:20 a.m. Monday when a report of a vehicle crash was called in on southbound Highway 95 north of the city limits. The vehicle fled the scene before first responders arrived.

During the crash investigation, it was discovered the vehicle had lost its front bumper with attached license plate when it hit the guardrail in two separate locations at high speed. The vehicle, a grey 2005 Acura sedan, was registered to an address in the neighborhood where attempts to locate the runaway teen had been underway for several hours.

Shortly after the crash occurred, a witness who had seen the vehicle moments before at the Sturgeon Station, was able to identify the runaway teen from a photograph as the driver and sole occupant of the vehicle.

Later, follow-up with the registered owner of the vehicle confirmed it had been stolen from his driveway.

At approximately 12:30 a.m., a report of a prowler was called in on West Monroe Street, where the prowler was run out of a garage by a homeowner. The prowler also matched the description of the runaway and was last seen running west on Jackson Street from Denver Street.

Officers redirected their search efforts to the south hill neighborhood and in the process, located the stolen Acura, which had sustained major damage, abandoned on Denver Street at Jackson Street. As well, several parked cars in the immediate area were left with their doors open and had clearly been ransacked.

The south hill neighborhoods were combed until approximately 4:30 a.m. when a VanBuren Street resident reported her Chevrolet Trailblazer had been stolen along with financial transaction cards, which had already been used in Samuels and Libby, Montana.

The suspect and vehicle had been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) so law enforcement nationwide who may come into contact with either, would know they were dealing with a wanted person and vehicle.

At approximately 9 a.m. Monday, Bonners Ferry Police were contacted by a police officer in Poulson, Montana, reporting the runaway had been apprehended and the stolen Chevrolet Trailblazer recovered.

An arrest warrant for the teenager has been issued out of Boundary County for two counts of grand theft, with numerous felony and misdemeanor charges to follow. The investigation into the many facets involving this incident is still ongoing.

At this time, extradition efforts are underway to bring the teenage suspect back to Boundary County so he can answer to the crimes he allegedly committed.

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident, or who may have fallen victim to this subject is urged to contact the Bonners Ferry Police Department and speak with the lead investigating officer, Brandon Johnson.