Ron Parsons of Helena, who stopped a high-speed chase in May 2016 with his truck and a boat, was found guilty on Thursday of two misdemeanor charges.
City prosecutors argued that Parsons engaged in "negligent endangerment and reckless driving."
Law enforcement officers were chasing a man on a motorcycle through central Helena.
The motorcyclist refused to pull over for them, and as the driver approached Parsons, Parsons intentionally pulled in front of the motorcycle, causing the driver to crash, and the motorcycle landed on top of the driver.
Prosecutors say Parsons acted with disregard for safety.
Prosecutor Erik Coate said, “The motorcyclist who was being pursued, was unable to stop his motorcycle in time, flipped the motorcycle on to its side, skidded across the pavement, I believe, 50 to 80 feet.”
Parson’s defense attorney Lance Jasper said his client was concerned for the safety of the officers and the public when he did what he believed to be the right thing.
Jasper said, “He will tell you, based on what he observed, that date, he did what he believed he needed to do to stop a criminal from hurting an innocent person, or a member of his family.”
The officer trying to stop the biker, Deputy Greg Holmlund, testified that after the crash he was afraid the biker was dead.
It turns out the motorcyclist sustained only minor injuries.
Deputy Holmlund told Parson’s defense attorney that during the chase, the driver was traveling at a high rate of speed, running through numerous stop signs and stop lights.
The deputy also said he was considering ending the chase at the time of the crash.
The six-person jury deliberated for almost two hours before returning their verdict.
Sentencing in the case has not yet been scheduled.