AP NEWS

Idaho Falls man charged after police intervene in abuse

February 23, 2019

An Idaho Falls man was charged after he reportedly threw a couch at a woman and beat her.

An Idaho Falls Police Department officer was driving on 15th Street on Jan. 13 at 10:45 p.m. when he saw a woman in the street being followed by Mark Gabriel Machen, 40. The officer wrote in his report that the woman was visibly distressed.

The victim had an injury on her forehead. The officer told Machen to stay on the other side of the street. Machen attempted to approach and speak to the victim until another officer arrived to speak with him.

The victim at first refused to speak to the officer, saying she was afraid Machen would hurt her if she talked to police. After some coaxing from the officer, she said Machen had been drinking and getting angry. She said Machen pulled her off the couch and threw her on the ground. Machen then picked up the couch and threw it on top of her, hitting the back of her head, according to the victim’s statement.

Machen continued to push and shove the victim, then physically threw her outside, causing her to hit her head on the concrete. The victim headed for a nearby house to call her mother. She said Machen had broken her phone several weeks ago.

The victim said Machen followed her and grabbed her by her coat, shaking her before throwing her against the ground for a third time. She attempted to flee to a nearby house when the officer arrived.

In addition to the head injury, the officer observed blood on the victim’s coat and scrapes on her knees. She told the officer her chest and the back of her head hurt. The victim refused medical treatment.

Machen denied hitting or throwing the victim, saying he was following her to make sure she was safe. He blamed the victim’s injuries on her having “problems.” The officer arrested him.

A witness told police he heard a woman screaming and saw the victim on the ground with Machen standing over her, laughing.

Machen was arraigned Tuesday and charged with felony domestic battery, punishable with up to 10 years in prison. He was released from jail after posting a $10,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing is scheduled for March 12 in Bonneville County Courthouse.