Two people faced charges in Ravalli County Justice Court Thursday for accosting the officers attempting to arrest them in separate incidents.
Sasha Renee Nott, 32, was charged with a felony count of assaulting a peace officer and misdemeanor charges of driving while under the influence, resisting arrest, unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage and parking on a traveled part of the roadway.
According to a charging affidavit, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was notified on Wednesday of a suspected intoxicated female looking for her keys and phone outside her vehicle on the Old Darby Road south of Hamilton. The person who made the call said “there was a lady that was drunker than drunk” and described the woman and her vehicle.
The trooper responded to the area and located a blue sedan on the roadway facing north on the southbound side of the road. There was an older female with a flashlight standing next to the driver’s door. Inside the vehicle, another woman was slumped on the steering wheel.
The woman standing outside the vehicle told the trooper she had just helped the other woman find her keys and phone, but she was not with her.
When the trooper made contact with Nott, he detected a strong smell of intoxicating beverage coming from the driver’s side of the vehicle. When the trooper advised Nott he was there to check on her welfare and told her she was parked on the wrong side of the road, she became agitated and confrontational.
The trooper noticed her eyes were bloodshot and watery and her speech slurred. The affidavit said Nott was cycling rapidly through anger and sadness.
Nott refused to perform the field sobriety tests and demanded a supervisor be present. When the trooper told her she was under arrest, she resisted being placed in handcuffs by clenching her fists, locking her wrists and turning her hands away from the officer. She refused to get all the way into the trooper’s car.
The trooper had to push her legs into the vehicle before transport. When he attempted to buckle her seat belt after she refused, Nott began saying “rape.”
While in transport, the affidavit said Nott began repeatedly slamming her head into the cage glass until the trooper would get out of the car to stop her. At one point, the affidavit said she grabbed the trooper’s hands and dug in her nails hard enough to remove skin from his knuckles and drew blood.
Ravalli County Justice Jim Bailey set bail at $2,500.
In a separate incident, just after midnight on Oct. 13, two Hamilton police officers were dispatched to the Veteran’s Bridge fishing access site off U.S. Highway 93 for a report of a suspicious vehicle.
They found a Ford Escape with an Idaho license that had been reported stolen out of Spokane, Washington, on Oct. 11, according to the charging affidavit. When one of the officers knocked on the vehicle’s window, Angel Cruz sat up and went directly to the driver’s seat while digging through his pockets.
Cruz is homeless. Authorities don’t know his age.
When the officers told him to open the door, he put the keys in the ignition and turned the vehicle on before lowering the window a couple of inches. He then turned the vehicle off and provided the officers with a drivers license bearing Cruz’s name.
Cruz told the officers the vehicle was his but dispatch told the officers it wasn’t.
So the officers told him to exit the vehicle. Instead of doing that, Cruz started the vehicle and began stomping on the gas while trying to put it into gear. The officers were able to reach in and turn off the car.
Cruz eventually had to be forced to exit the vehicle. During the struggle to get him outside, Cruz grabbed one officer’s radio microphones attached to the front of his shirt. He pulled that off and ripped off the officer’s name tag.
After being handcuffed, Cruz told the officers he obtained the vehicle in Washington from a friend. He also told the officers he was homeless.
Bailey set bail at $10,000.