UPDATE: Police Identify Man Accused of Driving Car Through Columbia Falls Grocery Store

Alan Roger Connor Jr., 50, arrested on suspicion of attempted negligent vehicular assault, criminal mischief, aggravated DUI; cops say isolated incident not ‘terroristic-type’ attack

By Andy Viano
The aisles of the Columbia Falls Super 1 Foods grocery store are in disarray after a man drove his car through the front doors of the store on Nov. 12, 2020. No one was injured. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

UPDATED STORY:

The 50-year-old man accused of driving his car through Super 1 Foods and then streaking naked through a retirement home Thursday night has been taken into custody by the Columbia Falls Police Department.

CFPD identified the man as Columbia Falls resident Alan Roger Connor Jr. in a press release Friday afternoon. Connor Jr. is being held on suspicion of attempted negligent vehicular assault, criminal endangerment, felony criminal mischief and aggravated DUI. He had not been charged in Flathead County District Court as of 3:30 p.m. Friday.

Connor Jr. was hospitalized Thursday night for “non-medical issues” after wreaking havoc in and around the Super 1 grocery store just off U.S. Highway 2. According to an earlier release, Connor Jr. drove a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina through the front doors and into the aisles just before 6 p.m., then drove away a short distance before crashing into a trailer. Minutes later, Connor Jr. was seen running naked through the halls of a nearby retirement home. He was apprehended just outside the facility.

Police indicated Connor Jr. showed “signs of drug impairment” when initially detained and wrote Friday that they did not believe his actions were “in any way related to a political, social or terroristic-type attack.”

Anyone who witnessed the incident and has not yet spoken to police is asked to call CFPD at (406) 892-3234.

ORIGINAL STORY:

An unidentified man discovered streaking naked through the halls of a retirement home near his abandoned car is suspected of driving that same vehicle through the front doors and down the aisles of Super 1 Foods grocery store in Columbia Falls Thursday night.

No one was injured during the chaotic series of incidents that left massive damage inside the store and the man, who was exhibiting “signs of drug impairment,” is hospitalized with what are described as non-injury medical issues. As of 10 a.m. Friday he had not been charged with a crime.

According to a press release from the Columbia Falls Police Department, the wild night began at around 5:50 p.m. when officers from CFPD and deputies with the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office were summoned to the Super 1 just off U.S. Highway 2. There, they discovered massive damage to the exterior and interior of the building where a 1995 Chevrolet Lumina was seen crashing through the doors and driving down aisles before leaving the store. A short time later, the Lumina crashed into a trailer and the driver, described by witnesses as a 40- to 50-year-old man with dark hair and a mustache or beard, fled on foot.

Minutes after the Lumina was found, police received a report of a man who matched the description running naked down the hallway of a retirement home near the abandoned car. Employees of the retirement home recognized the man as someone with a “known relationship” to a resident there. The man was apprehended by law enforcement approximately one block west of the facility.

Police Chief Clint Peters praised the efforts of his officers, other law enforcement agencies and the public in the department’s release.

“We would … like to commend the employees of Super 1 Foods who showed true heroism by ushering customers out of the way of danger, preventing serious injuries and potentially saving lives,” he wrote. “We would like to recognize the incredible, and instantaneous response of the community of Columbia Falls for assisting with securing the building and cleaning up the mess … This is further proof of what an incredible community we are all blessed to be a part of.”

The Super 1 Foods in Columbia Falls was back open Friday morning.

andy@flatheadbeacon.com

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