June 27, 2014 in City

Man wounded in gunbattle with Idaho officers charged

By The Spokesman-Review

An Arizona man wounded in a gunbattle early Sunday with police in Kootenai County has been charged with one felony count of eluding a police officer. His bail is set at $1 million.

No charges have been filed related to the shootout at a freeway overpass in Post Falls.

“The investigation is not complete, and we’ll be evaluating other charges,” Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said Thursday.

Marcus Anthony Rael, 24, of Glendale, Arizona, remains hospitalized at Kootenai Health. Investigators have not shared details on his injuries.

A preliminary hearing on the lone charge is scheduled for Thursday before Kootenai County District Court Judge Scott Wayman. Rael’s lawyer did not return a call seeking comment Thursday.

Although he remains in the hospital, Rael was placed under arrest Wednesday by a Rathdrum police detective working with the North Idaho Critical Incident Task Force for fleeing Coeur d’Alene police Officer Gus Wessel as Wessel attempted to pull over Rael’s Nissan Titan pickup truck on Sherman Avenue near Coeur d’Alene Lake Drive.

Rael drove the truck “in a manner likely to endanger the safety of” Wessel, according to a criminal complaint filed by the prosecuting attorney’s office.

Rael then sped west on Interstate 90 and stopped at the Spokane Street interchange in Post Falls, where he allegedly got out and fired on police at about 2 a.m. Twelve officers from four agencies exchanged gunfire with the suspect.

Six Coeur d’Alene police officers, three Post Falls police officers, two Kootenai County sheriff’s deputies and one Idaho State Police trooper shot at Rael, the sheriff’s office said.

All of the officers were placed on paid administrative leave, and their names will be released later, the sheriff’s office said.

No officers were injured.

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