Man on Meth Takes Police on Wild High Speed Ride through Town
26 year-old Joseph Morgan is facing no fewer than eight felonies after leading police on a wild and very dangerous ride through the streets of Missoula, even driving on a walking path at highway speeds while apparently high on meth.
The incident began at Lowe’s on Thursday morning, as Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.
“Officers responded to remove a male who had been acting erratically at Lowe’s and then was seen huffing spray paint in the parking lot and spray painting a vehicle in the Lowe's parking lot,” said Arnold. “When employees were speaking to Morgan, he made threatening comments indicating causing serious bodily injury to them. As officers were responding, dispatch advised the officers of a stolen vehicle matching the description that was provided to 9-1-1.”
From that point, the chase was on as Morgan led police at high speeds through Missoula.
“Exiting Reserve Street, the vehicle accelerated up to 70 miles per hour in heavy traffic,” she said. “The vehicle continued on to Railroad Street. The vehicle accelerated up to 90 miles per hour where multiple vehicles and pedestrians were on the road. The vehicle continued southbound going into oncoming traffic driving in excess of 60 miles an hour, causing traffic to have to get out of the way in both directions of travel. The vehicle continued through the intersection of Broadway failing to stop at the stoplight.”
Then, Morgan sped the stolen vehicle onto a bike and walking path.
“The driver at one point got onto the bike walking path with pedestrians on the path who had to jump out of the way of the vehicle to be able to avoid being hit,” she said. “Morgan at times was doing in excess of 50 miles per hour on the walking trail, causing a serious public safety risk to those who are walking or biking.”
Morgan eventually abandoned the stolen vehicle and fled from police on foot.
“During Morgan's time on foot, he went through yards, damaged property, and even attempted to enter a person's residence,” she said. “Thankfully, this person who was home had their doors locked. Officers were finally able to take Joseph Morgan into custody. Probation and referral assisted at the scene since Morgan is on probation. Morgan is suspected of being under the influence of alcohol and drugs. During the probation and parole search officers located a substance and the preliminary tests indicate the substance is methamphetamine.”
After cursing at Judge Landee Holloway following his court appearance, concurrent bail was set at $100,000 for his probation violation, as well as $100,000 bail for the offenses on Thursday.
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