At around 5:45 a.m. on Wednesday, a Missoula Police officer observed a vehicle fail to stop at a stop sign on Johnson and South 5th Avenue. The officer attempted to make a traffic stop, but the vehicle accelerated away at a high rate of speed. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said the vehicle made several turns and travelled recklessly in an area occupied by pedestrians.

“At one point, the officer realized the danger and discontinued the pursuit,” Welsh said. “However, it was very shortly after that that 911 began getting calls of a suspicious male in backyards and attempting to get into outdoor sheds. An officer observed this male walking at the intersection of Oxford and Kensington.”

Welsh said the officer attempted to stop the male by activating emergency lights and sirens, but the male took off running.

“However, he was quickly apprehended. The officer that initiated the traffic stop earlier recognized this male as the driver. The driver refused to identify where his vehicle was at the time and was placed under arrest for the offenses related to the incident.”

Court documents indicate that during the arrest, the male pulled a cell phone out of his pocket and the officer ordered the male to the ground several times, but he refused to comply. The male then threw the phone on the ground with force and shattered it. The male then fought with the officer and the two went to the ground. The officer was eventually able to get the male handcuffed.

The male was identified as 24-year-old Zachary Applegate. Applegate is being charged with criminal endangerment, tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, criminal trespass to property, and resisting arrest.

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