The Great Falls Police Department has named Adam Royarvid Smith as the man who led police on a chase in Great Falls on Wednesday morning.
Authorities say that Smith is a parole/probation absconder from Missoula wanted on a $50,000 bond. State prison records show that he has a conviction for theft.
The Great Falls Police Department reports that the incident began when a police officer attempted a routine traffic stop because the driver made a "too-wide" turn.
The driver – later identified as Smith – instead sped away, triggering the chase that went down 3rd Street NW and into the Riverview neighborhood near CMR High School; CMR briefly implemented "shelter in place" procedures as a precaution.
Smith’s vehicle rear-ended a police car during the chase, but he kept driving.
Smith led police through residential areas in and around the school and drove through several front lawns, knocking down a small tree in the process near Smelter Avenue and 6th Street NW.
Police eventually used stop sticks, which ended the chase on 18th Avenue NW.
One police officer sustained minor injuries during the incident; he was treated at Great Falls Clinic and released.
Smith, 28 years old, is facing charges of criminal mischief, criminal endangerment, obstructing a peace officer, eluding a peace officer, reckless driving, resisting arrest, driving with suspended license, driving with no insurance, and making a wide turn.
Here is the full text of the press release from the GFPD:
On March 15, 2017 at approximately 8:50am Officer Meek attempted to stop a small yellow 1977 Chevrolet pick-up truck for failing to make a proper turn. The driver of the truck refused to yield to Officer Meek’s activated top lights and siren.
As Officer Meek pursued the vehicle, speeds ranged from approximately 10 miles per hour below to 10 miles per hour above the speed limit. Patrol supervisors and command staff monitored the pursuit. Due to the relatively low speeds, the apprehension of the suspect was a priority and the pursuit continued.
During the estimated 15 minute pursuit, the suspect drove onto sidewalks, through lawns and tore a small tree from the ground. The suspect led officers from the 400 block of 6th Avenue North, across the 9th Street Bridge to Smelter Avenue, onto 3rd Street Northwest and eventually traveled into the parking lot behind Sam’s Club. At this location our officers successfully deployed stop sticks, striking the tire of the truck’s driver’s side.
The vehicle traveled on the front rims through the CMR High School parking lot and eventually struck one of our patrol vehicles, causing considerable damage. The vehicle stopped in the 200 block of 18th Avenue Northwest, and the suspect was immediately taken into custody.
One of our officers sustained a minor injury during the apprehension and went to the Great Falls Clinic, where he was treated and released.
When the pursuit approached the area south of CMR High School, SRO Frick placed the school into “Shelter in Place” status as a precaution. SRO Frick was enroute to Riverview Elementary School to ensure the students’ safety when the pursuit turned away from the path of the school and ended within seconds. It became unnecessary to place Riverview Elementary into protective status.
The driver of the vehicle has been identified as Adam Smith, 28 years old; wanted for an outstanding $50,000 Missoula warrant for absconding from his parole.