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‘King of Montana’ Back in Missoula Jail After Chase Near Lolo Hot Springs

Photo courtesy of MCSO
Photo courtesy of MCSO

33-year-old Jared Ryan Kuntz has a long history of run-ins with the law in Montana, but the man who once proclaimed himselfthe King of Montana” on a 9-1-1 call is now back in the Missoula jail.

In 2010, Kuntz made that notorious 9-1-1 call from the Pink Grizzly, after he had been involved in a car accident, broke into the building and damaged Christmas wreaths and a register. On Monday, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Brenda Basset says he led deputies on a day long chase through the woods.

“We received a call that someone may be in the Lolo Hot Springs area on drugs, so we went up there on a welfare check,” Basset said. “It was discovered that he had a probation violation. He fled from deputies, kind of off into the trees, that’s when we decided to take our K9 unit out. They were able to track him, but lost him again in the trees.”

After a while, law enforcement became worried for Kuntz’s safety during what was expected to be a cold and rainy night.

“As it got later in the day, we decided that we needed to worry about the welfare of this person, he was just in shorts and a cut-off sweat shirt,” Bassett said. “We initiated our special response team, as well as Two Bear Air. We asked for their assistance and they came down, but we weren’t able to find him. Then this morning [May 24], we received a tip that he may be at a residence in Lolo.

Kuntz was in that residence, but it is unknown whether Kuntz hitchhiked or walked back to Lolo. In 2014, he was charged with rape and giving alcohol to a teenage girl, but was found guilty only of supplying alcohol to a minor. He is currently under arrest on a probation violation charge, but more charges may follow.

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