Gonser charged following high-speed chase

Posted at 4:55 PM, Jul 06, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-06 18:55:11-04

Gregory Robert Gonser has been charged with two felonies and several misdemeanors for a high-speed chase in Great Falls.

According to court documents, at about 1 p.m. on Wednesday, July 4th, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper saw an emergency vehicle with its lights flashing stopped along 10th Avenue South near 35th Street. The trooper also saw several other cars pulled over.

The driver of the emergency vehicle was a volunteer firefighter who pulled over to check on the small tan car that was stopped in the middle of 10th Avenue South to protest President Trump’s visit to Great Falls on Thursday.

The tan car then left the scene, and the the MHP trooper began following with his patrol car lights activated. The driver of the tan car then sped away at more than 65 miles per hour, and then "pulled over erratically" near 29th Street and stopped suddenly.

The trooper approached the driver, who identified himself of Gonser. Court documents state that Gonser told the trooper he had stopped at Ace Hardware on 10th Avenue South to get help in "stopping President Trump." When the trooper went back to his patrol car to check Gonser’s driver’s license, Gonser sped away.

KRTV received several reports of the chase as it was happening from people near 8th Avenue North and 38th Street.

The trooper then began following Gonser, and Gonser reached speeds of more than 65 miles per hour in residential areas, and reportedly nearly hit a pedestrian. The trooper then called off the chase due to the danger to the public.

Great Falls police officers then went to Gonser’s residence to see if he might return home. As officers were talking with neighbors, Gonser arrived and pulled into his driveway at a high rate of speed, according to court documents.

The charging documents state that as Gonser was pulling into the driveway from the street, a GFPD officer was standing on a neighbor’s lawn, and Gonser pointed his car toward the officer, drove toward him, and at the last second veered away. The officer had to jump out of the way to avoid being hit.

Officer then approached Gonser in his car and told him to turn the motor off; he refused to comply, so an officer reached in to turn it off, at which point Gonser "resisted arrest by grabbing and pushing the officer away from the vehicle as it was rolling forward into the garage."

Officers then used a Taser on Gonser and were able to turn the car off and arrest him.

Court documents say that officers noted Gonser appeared to be under the influence, and he consented to a blood draw for testing purposes.

Gonser has convictions for operating a vehicle with a blood-alcohol content of .08 or greater (2009); driving under the influence (2008); and disorderly conduct.

Gonser has been charged with two felony counts of criminal endangerment and the following misdemeanors: resisting arrest; fail to yield to emergency vehicle; speeding; obstructing traffic; fleeing from/eluding a peace officer; failure to wear seatbelt; driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs (3rd).

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