A 32-year-old St. Regis man was arrested on felony charges after he allegedly nearly crashed a stolen vehicle into two other cars – including a Hamilton police officer’s vehicle.
According to court documents, about 12:30 a.m. Monday, Oct. 9, Hamilton Police Officer Jessica Hayward saw a white Toyota SUV heading north on First Street, traveling 35 mph in a 25 mph zone. She turned around to make a traffic stop, and saw another vehicle that was pulled over by Officer Rick Sherman.
When the Toyota, allegedly driven by Beau McGillivray, turned west onto State Street “at a high rate of speed,” it almost struck the back passenger side of the vehicle that was pulled over, and the front driver’s side of Sherman’s patrol car, according to an affidavit by Deputy County Attorney Angela Wetzsteon.
Hayward tried to pull over McGillivray’s vehicle by activating her emergency lights, but he accelerated away from her. She made an initial pursuit, but lost sight of the vehicle near Blodgett Camp Road.
But while it’s possible to outrun a patrol vehicle, it’s not always easy to outrun the officers’ radio, and Ravalli County Sheriff’s Sgt. Jake Auch pulled over the Toyota. A quick check of the license plate showed it was stolen out of Missoula.
When Hayward arrived, she noted that McGillivray was in the driver’s seat and a woman was in the passenger side. Hayward also saw a .22-caliber rifle lying in the back passenger side floorboard. The passenger was crying and visibly upset, saying she thought they were going to crash and she would die, according to Wetzsteon.
“She stated that defendant was on felony probation and had a gun in the car and did not want to get caught,” Wetzsteon wrote.
McGillivray also had a suspended driver’s license, and after running the firearm through the dispatcher, Hayward discovered the gun was reported stolen out of Spokane.
McGillivray is charged with two counts of felony criminal endangerment for nearly crashing into the two vehicles, as well as misdemeanor charges of fleeing from a peace officer, reckless driving, driving with a suspended or revoked license, and two counts of theft.
He was booked into the Ravalli County Detention Center in lieu of a $50,000 bond.