A former Idaho State Police trooper avoided jail time after a judge sentenced him Sept. 7 for unlawfully arresting a woman in 2017 at her residence, according to a Kootenai County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office news release.
Joshua Kagarice was convicted in a court trial of misdemeanor false arrest. Magistrate Judge Patrick McFadden then sentenced him to a $500 fine, 60 hours of community service and one year of unsupervised probation. Prosecutors requested five days in jail and an additional five days of service in the sheriff’s labor program, as well as 60 hours of community service and one year of probation.
The release said the conviction stems from an incident in June 2017 when Kagarice received a message from his wife regarding a car alarm going off in their neighborhood. Kagarice, in his capacity as an ISP trooper, responded at about 3:30 a.m. to the location of the alarm. The car stopped making noise while he was present and he received no response when he knocked on the door. Kagarice used pepper spray on a dog that was in the yard.
Later that day, Kagarice returned to the location in uniform with his ISP patrol vehicle. He demanded identifying information from the woman who answered the door, and she told Kagarice that she saw him spray her dog. The resident told Kagarice she called dispatch to determine why law enforcement was at her residence and dispatch told her there were no complaints and there was no record indicating why law enforcement was at her house.
When the woman refused to give her information and attempted to close the door, Kagarice prevented her from doing so and ordered her out of the house. He then took hold of the resident, forced her to the ground and placed her under arrest. The woman’s two minor children witnessed the event, the release said.
Kagarice was placed on leave while his response was investigated. His employment with ISP was later terminated.
Prosecuting Attorney Barry McHugh said that while the sentence was not what was requested, the conviction was important.
“Law enforcement officers consistently serve our communities with the highest of standards, and conduct beyond reproach,” McHugh said in the release. “However, when an officer acts inappropriately, it is important for the public to know that those actions will be investigated and, if appropriate, prosecuted. Without that accountability the trust that exists between law enforcement and the community suffers.”
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