Posted: Dec 29, 2009 2:14 PM
Updated: Dec 29, 2009 2:14 PM
A Bozeman man has been arrested after leading law enforcement officials from three agencies on a high speed chase through Bozeman Wednesday morning.
Matthew Smith, 26, has been charged with criminal endangerment, fleeing or eluding a peace officer, possession of drug paraphernalia, obstructing a peace officer, resisting arrest, driving while the privilege is suspended and improper passing.
The chase began at about 11:14 a.m. Wednesday when Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Derek Brown tried to pull over a minivan driven by Smith after it reportedly passed an eastbound vehicle across ice and snow and a double yellow line on a left hand curve. When the trooper tried to pull over the van Smith reportedly sped up.
Authorities pursued the man's Ford minivan down Frontage Road to Griffin then to Rouse and Seventh Avenue. The man turned off of Seventh Avenue onto Interstate 90 and began traveling eastbound. He exited the interstate and turned onto East Main Street and began traveling back into town.
Police laid down tire spikes at East Main Street and Haggerty Lane, which took down two of the minivan's tires. The van stopped at the Curtiss and Cypress streets.
The man then entered Lindley Park where he led police on a brief foot chase for about 50 feet before being hung up in bushes when he tried to cross a fence, according to court papers.
Bozeman police and Gallatin County Sheriff's deputies tried to place Smith into custody, but he resisted. He was sprayed with pepper spray and shot with a Taser. He was taken to the hospital for his injuries and later placed in the Gallatin County Detention Center.
A record check revealed that Smith's license was suspended and two active $10,000 warrants out of Gallatin County. Police also reportedly found a marijuana pipe in Smith's coat.
No one was injured during the chase, however there were times the man ran red lights, which put pedestrians and other motorists in danger, Bozeman Sgt. Brandon Olson said.
Smith reportedly reached speeds of more than 70 miles per hour during the chase.