Driver Leads Law Enforcement in Pursuit from Polson to Somers Area

Sheriff says driver was trying to hit officers setting up spike strips

By Beacon staff

A 22-year-old Great Falls man is in custody after leading law enforcement on a chase from Polson to the Somers area on Oct. 20.

According to Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry, Bobby Neal led the Lake County Sheriff’s Office on a pursuit starting in Polson. He headed north on U.S. Highway 93, Curry said, where he was also chased by Montana Highway Patrol and Tribal Police.

»»» Click here to watch a video of the pursuit.

At the county line at about 9:30 p.m., Flathead County sheriff’s deputies took over, deploying spike strips and taking out at least one of the driver’s tires in the Elmo area.

Curry said the driver posed a “significant risk” to the public, swerving into oncoming traffic and forcing vehicles to drive into the ditch to avoid a wreck. Neal allegedly also tried to strike law enforcement officers deploying the spike strips, Curry said.

The vehicle was finally stopped just south of Highway 82 on Flathead Lake’s north shore, when a Flathead deputy used a PIT maneuver, which is a pursuit tactic by which the deputy forced a Neal’s car to turn sideways, causing him to lose control and stop.

Neal was taken into custody without incident. A female passenger in the car was also taken into custody and transported to Lake County.

Neal is being held at the Flathead County Detention Center and has been initially charged with felony criminal endangerment, assault on a peace officer, felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs and reckless driving/eluding.

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