A Billings man who led police on a high-speed chase through Missoula on Monday evening — which ended when he was arrested after leaving his SUV and running through a grocery store — remains in jail on a $150,000 bail.
Joseph Waters, 39, is charged with two counts of felony criminal endangerment, as well as felonies for drug possession and carrying a concealed firearm, and misdemeanors for carrying a switchblade, fleeing, and driving with a suspended license.
His passenger, 35-year-old Casey Zucconi, also from Billings, had a $15,000 warrant out for her arrest from Billings at the time of the chase.
According to court records, a Missoula police officer on patrol Monday noticed a white GMC Yukon parked outside of a home on the 2200 block of Seventh Street that is believed to be a drug distribution and gun trading location. The same officer later saw the SUV outside a unit in the Skyview Trailer Court that is also believed to be a center for drug activity.
The officer followed the SUV and as it activated a turn signal, but never turned. He attempted to pull over the vehicle near the intersection of Phillips and Burns streets, but the SUV drove away, running a nearby red light on Russell Street.
The SUV continued on Russell, reaching speeds of 85 miles per hour, court records said, and ran another red light at the intersection with Third Street. The vehicle pulled into the parking lot of Albertsons on Russell and both occupants got out and ran.
The officer followed Waters, the driver, into the grocery store. Waters allegedly tried to run through the storage area, but was arrested when he reached a dead end. After the arrest, the officer found a switchblade in Waters’ pocket, as well as two baggies of a crystalline substance, one of which tested positive for methamphetamine, according to court documents.
An Alberstons employee found a handgun in the storage area, along with a single glove that matched another in the SUV. At the jail, authorities discovered an empty handgun holster beneath Waters' shirt, court records said.