Shots fired after hour-long chase
RONAN — A Ronan man tried to run over a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy last week, turning a routine traffic stop into an off-road pursuit that ended when the deputy shot out the fleeing truck’s tires.
According to a press release, a Lake County Sheriff’s Deputy saw a pickup truck blow a stop sign in Ronan Feb. 8 around 1:30 a.m.
The driver, identified as Ronan resident Victor Anthony Morigeau, fled when the deputy tried to conduct a traffic stop.
A Ronan Police officer and the deputy gave chase, following Morigeau onto Rocky Butte Road southwest of Ronan.
“Preliminary reports indicate that the pursuit continued through a field for nearly half an hour and ended at approximately (2:20 a.m.) when the driver attempted to run over the deputy, and the deputy fired (his weapon) and struck the tire on the vehicle, bringing the pursuit to an end,” the press release stated.
Morigeau was arrested and charged with two counts of assault on a peace officer, both felonies, and one count of driving under the influence, his fifth offense, a felony.
There were no injuries. The deputy who shot his gun was placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office — standard procedure, according to Lake County Undersheriff Dan Yonkin.
“When we have one of our officers involved in discharging his weapon, typical protocol is to have an outside agency take a look at it,” Yonkin said. “As far as the DUI goes, we dealt with that, but the events that lead up to the shooting, that’s something (the Missoula County Sheriff’s Office) will be talking a look at for us.”
Yonkin was unaware of any property damage resulting from the chase.