High-speed chase suspect remains in jail
Story by Jeff Smith
of Anderson Broadcasting
for the Valley Journal
A high speed pursuit led to criminal charges for a St. Ignatius man. Shonko Christy-Lacounte, 22, entered a plea of not guilty in District Court at Polson February 26, to felony criminal endangerment.
Christy-Lacounte is currently in the Lake County jail on a parole violation and for a prior theft conviction.
He was arrested on Jan. 30 after leading law enforcement on a high-speed chase around the St. Ignatius area. District Judge James Manley scheduled Christy-Lacounte’s trial for Aug. 17.
According to the charging documents, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Terry Rosenbaum observed a small white car with severe damage to the front end and no functioning taillights as it traveled on Olsen Road in the Charlo area.
Rosenbaum initiated a traffic stop, and the driver of the car, later identified as Christy-Lacounte, failed to stop and a pursuit began. Several law enforcement agencies assisted during the pursuit that lasted 29 minutes and covered 31 miles. The driver was observed reaching speeds in excess of 100 mph and forcing eight other motorists to take evasive action to avoid being hit.
The pursuit ended when the suspect’s vehicle crashed and the driver fled on foot. Law enforcement pursued the suspect and arrested him.