Man Arrested After High Speed Chase - KFBB.com News, Sports and Weather

Man Arrested After High Speed Chase

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Great Falls, MT - A man was arrested following a high speed chase through Great Falls.

On August 2, 2017 Officer Draper encountered a 2006 White Chevy Tahoe that he recognized from a prior call involving a foot pursuit with William McGillis. Draper knew McGillis to be a suspected driver, which he confirmed via CJIN, along with the vehicle's uninsured status on the MERLIN system. After pulling up to the vehicle, Draper was able to confirm McGillis' identity using driver's license and booking photos.

Officer Draper initiated a traffic stop, pulling behind McGillis and into the old Hasting's parking lot on 7th street. McGillis accelerated away from Draper. When Draper closed the distance between the vehicles, McGillis slammed on his breaks. Knowing that McGillis had been involved in foot pursuits in the past, Draper believed that McGillis intended to exit the vehicle. Draper exited his own vehicle and instructed McGillis to do the same, but McGillis instead accelerated away again.

Draper returned to his vehicle and followed him through the parking lot. He then observed McGillis traveling at high speeds southbound on 9th Street, where several vehicles were pulled to the curb and people gesturing at him. As Officer Draper followed McGillis, he observed the Chevy Tahoe traveling at high speed and failing to stop at a stop sign. 

McGillis was leaving his lane and passing vehicles rapidly then disappeared from the area. Despite searching, Officer Draper could not locate him until another officer in the area radioed that he had been flagged down by a resident who indicated he observed a white Tahoe speeding up a hill at 8th Street and 22nd Avenue South. Officer Draper went to that intersection and saw the vehicle stuck in a rut on the hill. McGillis was able to free his vehicle before Draper could reach him.

The pursuit continued northbound on 8th Street South where a van attempted to block McGillis' path, but McGillis was able to get around him. He then began to drift due top his high speed on a dirt road. At that point, Draper determined that McGillis' driving behavior was placing the public at risk and stopped pursuing him.

On August 3, 2017 around 6:30 p.m., Officer draper was notified by dispatch of a suspect matching McGillis' description at the Super 8 Motel. McGillis was then arrested based on the charges from the events of August 2nd.

William R. McGillis is being charged with Criminal Endangerment, Stop Sign Violation, Fleeing/Eluding a Peace Officer, Failure to Carry Proof of Liability Insurance, and Driving While Suspended/Revoked.

The State has requested bond at $10,000, which they same is the minimum amount necessary to protect the public and ensure he remains law abiding. The State also requests as a condition of release that an additional restriction against any driving by McGillis be imposed.

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