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Erratic driving leads to felony charges for Missoula man
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Erratic driving leads to felony charges for Missoula man

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Patrick Jan James Hoskins

Patrick Jan James Hoskins

A 21-year-old Missoula man was charged with two felony counts of criminal endangerment and a slew of misdemeanors following a wild drive through Hamilton that ended with the man allegedly telling a deputy to shoot him.

Patrick Jan James Hoskins appeared Wednesday before Ravalli County Justice Jennifer Ray.

According to a charging affidavit, the sheriff’s office received a report of an erratic driver heading northbound on U.S. Highway 93 near Gold Creek Loop Tuesday at about 9:45 p.m.

The person who called in the report said a silver passenger car had been speeding, swerving in and out of traffic and flashing its lights.

A deputy was patrolling southbound on U.S. Highway 93 near Fairgrounds Road in Hamilton when she spotted the vehicle driving 62 miles per hour in a 25 mph zone.

The deputy turned her vehicle around and began a pursuit with lights and siren on. The affidavit said the vehicle accelerated through town until it reached the Yamaha shops north of Hamilton.

At that point, the vehicle slowed and entered the middle turn lane. The affidavit said the driver then braked suddenly and turned sharply to the west, which caused him to lose control of the car and it slid into the ditch.

The driver then accelerated again and drove out of the ditch and through the entrance of Vern’s Landscaping where he came to a stop.

The deputy drew her firearm and ordered him out of the vehicle.

The affidavit said the driver stuck his hands out of the vehicle, but then continued to move them elsewhere as he refused to follow the deputy’s commands. When he left the vehicle, he turned to face the deputy and placed his hands near his pockets while shifting positions.

The driver then allegedly said, “Just (expletive) shoot me, then.”

At some point, the man appeared to drop the vehicle’s keys and then lay prone on the ground.

Once arrested, he told the two deputies on the scene that he was driving his uncle’s car. The deputies confirmed he had a suspended driver’s license and there was no insurance on the car.

A preliminary breath sample resulted in a .155 breath alcohol content.

In Montana, a driver is considered impaired with a .08 blood alcohol content.

The witness who made the initial report told a deputy later that he was heading northbound out of Darby when the vehicle came up behind him and started tailgating and flashing his lights. As the vehicles approached the Lick Creek area, the witness said the vehicle came within two feet of his back bumper and then passed in a no-passing zone on a blind curve.

The witness said it did the same thing to the vehicle in front of him.

When the deputies were photographing the vehicle, they saw a large county road sign in its backseat. They later went to the intersection in Darby with the same street signs and found the pole on which the sign had been mounted was bent as if a vehicle had struck it.

In addition to the two felonies, Hoskins was charged with misdemeanor counts of driving under the influence, theft, fleeing from an officer, driving while license suspended, failure to have liability insurance, reckless driving, unlawful possession of an open alcoholic beverage, and operating a motor vehicle without a license plate.

Ray set bail at $10,000.

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