Witnesses: Fleeing man brandished gun

Jackie Shayde Sedillo

GRANGEVILLE — George and Stephanie Pinque, of Mountain Home, Idaho, had just fueled up in Grangeville and were headed home after the Labor Day weekend Sept. 3 when they approached a line of about 20 cars stopped a few miles south of town on U.S. Highway 95.

As the Pinques were rolling to a stop, a driver in a dark minivan in the opposite lane headed straight for their pickup truck.

“I thought it would be a head-on, so I braced for impact,” Stephanie Pinque recounted Friday during a preliminary hearing for Jackie Shayde Sedillo.

Sedillo, 30, was arrested Sept. 4 following a high-speed chase from New Meadows to north of Grangeville, and after he allegedly stole three vehicles and eluded capture overnight. He appeared in court Friday dressed in a grey-and-white-striped jail uniform, leg chains and flip-flops.

He was attended by Jay Northam, an appointed public defender from Lewiston.

Following a nearly six-hour hearing, Magistrate Jeff P. Payne found probable cause to support 15 felony charges related to the Sept. 3 chase, including three charges of aggravated assault and one of battery with intent to commit a serious felony.

As they prepared for a crash, the Pinques suddenly realized the driver of the minivan was pointing a gun straight at their windshield.

“My husband screamed, ‘He’s got a gun,’ and I ducked,” Stephanie Pinque said.

At the last moment, however, the minivan veered away from the Pinques’ vehicle, missing it by inches, crossed the highway and landed in a ditch.

The next thing the Pinques saw was the minivan driver dragging a man from a BMW parked being them. Then the Pinques heard a gunshot.

“I screamed to my husband, ‘I think he shot him,’ ” Stephanie Pinque said.

Gary W. King, 84, of White Bird, was the driver of the BMW. After he stopped behind the Pinques’ vehicle, “a guy ran up to the front of my car and told me to get the ‘F’ out of my car,” King said during Friday’s hearing.

“He grabbed me by the shoulder and he yanked me and I fell backwards out of the car seat and onto the black top.”

King also said he heard a gunshot. The man who pulled him out of his BMW jumped inside the car and sped away.

Adams County Deputy Christopher Green testified that he was on duty Sept. 3 when he heard a report of a Kia Sedona minivan that had been stolen from Canyon County.

Green said he spotted the vehicle parked at the Chevron station at New Meadows and approached the driver, whom he identified Friday as Sedillo.

Sedillo claimed the vehicle was his, but as Green continued to question him, Sedillo slammed the car in reverse and started to back away from the station.

“I said, ‘Stop right now,’ and he just continued to reverse,” Green said.

The deputy’s arm was caught in the driver’s window, but he managed to free himself, jump in his patrol vehicle and began chasing Sedillo north on U.S. Highway 95.

Sedillo allegedly was driving in excess of 100 mph, officers testified, dodging in and out of traffic, and causing vehicles and pedestrians to bail onto the side of the road to avoid being hit.

Idaho County deputies caught up with Sedillo at Riggins and continued the pursuit north to Grangeville. After Sedillo allegedly commandeered the BMW, he led deputies on a high-speed chase across the prairie and into town “with total disregard to all human safety,” said Idaho County Deputy Justin Scuka.

At Grangeville, Sedillo drove deep into a residential area, where a boom truck owned by a house painting company was parked. There he left the BMW and allegedly stole the truck.

Scuka caught up with the boom truck Sedillo was allegedly driving a short time later as it headed north on gravel roads. At one point, the truck left the roads and sped through the farm fields, crashing down barbed wire fences along the way. When the truck jumped a ditch and landed on the other side, Scuka said he backed off, knowing he could not follow safely in his patrol car.

The boom truck was eventually abandoned on a skid road in Cottonwood Creek canyon, and Sedillo fled on foot and remained hidden until the next day, when members of the Idaho State Police SWAT team surrounded him and took him into custody without incident.

A semi-automatic pistol was later found in the boom truck by investigators.

Payne ordered Sedillo to be arraigned at 1:15 p.m. Sept. 30 in district court. In the meantime, Sedillo remains in the custody of the Idaho County Jail on a bond of $750,000.

Hedberg may be contacted at kathyhedberg@gmail.com or (208) 983-2326.

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