The Missoula County Attorney’s Office charged 11 new criminal complaints this week, which is about average these days. County Attorney Kirsten Pabst explains.

“I would put four of those into the family violence category,” Pabst said. “One was a strangulation partner or family member assault second offense and two counts of a violation of an order of protection. There were two more violations of orders of protection cases and then another strangulation plus partner or family member assault first offense.”

According to Pabst there was one drug case, three felony DUI cases, and a couple of administrative crimes as well. There was also a criminal endangerment case. A man was arrested after stealing a vehicle that had the owner’s pet dog inside.

“A chase ensued all the way to the Gray Wolf Casino,” Pabst said. “Deputies also put out stop strips. The defendant crashed into a pillar near the entrance of the casino. He got out of the vehicle and a foot chase occurred. Then the defendant allegedly discharged a firearm inside the entry of the casino and hid behind a rock. Law enforcement negotiated for his surrender and that lasted five or ten minutes.”

The defendant ended up coming out without further incident. Methamphetamine was allegedly involved. According to Pabst, meth continues to play a significant role in Missoula crime.

“I don’t think anybody is pretending that we concurred the methamphetamine problem,” Pabst said. “We respond as we can, but there is clearly a demand for the product here in Missoula. We are working at prevention. We are working at getting more treatment options for people. We are also responding as heavily as we can from a law enforcement angle. Meth is still out there.”

In another case, a man was arrested for allowing a nine-year-old girl to drive a Subaru up a forest road because he was allegedly drunk. The state recommended bail in the amount of $50,000, but Judge Alex Beal said that was ‘too kind’ and he doubled the bail to $100,000.