Missoula Man Faces Seven Felony Charges After Fleeing From Deputies
On February 12, 2022, Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputies were dispatched to a report of a wrong-way driver heading southbound on Highway 93 North from the Gray Wolf Peak Casino. Law enforcement was advised the vehicle was being driven by a single older male driver. Law enforcement was contacted by seven witnesses, six of which were victims.
A deputy located the suspect vehicle and activated his emergency lights and sirens. The suspect vehicle refused to stop, sped up to speeds around 70 mph, and began evading law enforcement. The pursuit reached speeds in excess of 100 mph.
During the pursuit, law enforcement watched as the driver of the suspect vehicle threw items out of the driver’s-side window, including pill bottles, clothes, and a knife. A deputy deployed spike strips near the intersection of Cartage Road and Highway 93. The suspect vehicle turned into the Town Pump parking lot located near that intersection avoiding the spike strips. The suspect vehicle drove through the parking lot erratically and made its way back onto the highway heading towards the exits for I-90.
A semi-truck driver observed the pursuit and blocked the road causing the suspect vehicle to turn onto the I-90 westbound ramp. The vehicle then continued on I-90 heading west at speeds in excess of 105 mph.
A MCSO Sergeant gave authorization to ram the vehicle if the suspect vehicle reached lower speeds. The suspect vehicle took the Frenchtown exit and slowed to around 35 mph, but drove through the stop sign nearly hitting another motorist.
A deputy was able to initiate a controlled ram that knocked the suspect vehicle approximately 90 degrees. The deputy moved his vehicle directly behind the suspect vehicle. Another deputy rammed the front of the suspect vehicle with his patrol car to avoid the suspect vehicle fleeing again. The suspect was taken into custody without further incident and he was identified as 59-year-old Vincent Culp.
On February 14, 2022, Culp made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court. Deputy County Attorney Carrie Garber provided the following statement:
“Your honor, the state of Montana is requesting a $50,000 bond,” Garber said. “The reason for that is based upon his extensive criminal history, which includes multiple prior convictions for fleeing and eluding, assaulting peace officers, other felonies involving drugs, specifically four separate convictions of criminal possession of dangerous drugs, for being convicted of hit and runs involving injury or death, and injury to property.”
According to Garber, Culp nearly injured six individuals as he attempted to flee from law enforcement.
“But for the grace of god, six people would be dead including two pedestrians who reported that they had to physically jump out of the way to not be struck by the vehicle he was operating,” Garber said. “He refused to pull over despite all of the law enforcement that was chasing him. They had to engage in a maneuver to get him to stop driving. He refused to provide a breathe test, but a warrant was obtained. We will be able to have the toxicology report indicating what substances were on board.”
Culp is currently being charged with six counts of felony criminal endangerment, felony DUI, and fleeing from or eluding a peace officer.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.