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Wanted man taken into custody after pursuit on Highway 206

by SCOTT SHINDLEDECKER
Daily Inter Lake | August 12, 2021 7:25 AM

A wanted man is in custody after a police chase and standoff Wednesday morning on Montana 206 near Columbia Falls.

According to a news release from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, Nicholas E. Jones, 34, was found asleep in a stolen pickup truck at about 6 a.m. at Last Best Storage.

Officers said Jones was asleep in the driver’s seat and the doors were locked. Because deputies said Jones had led officers on dangerous pursuits recently and made threats against officers, deputies parked patrol vehicles in front of and behind the stolen truck and placed a tire deflation device in front of the stolen vehicle.

When deputies attempted to call Jones out of the vehicle, he started it and rammed two patrol vehicles, then led deputies on a pursuit, the sheriff’s office said.

After a short pursuit, deputies struck the truck,

Jones lost control of the vehicle and it crashed near the Bad Rock Fire Department station. Jones refused deputies’ orders to get out of the vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.

Deputies, the SWAT team and a police dog managed to arrest Jones. He was taken to a hospital where he was treated and released for injuries sustained from the vehicle accident and a bite from the dog. Jones was booked into the Flathead County Detention Center on charges of assault on a peace officer, assault with a weapon, motor vehicle theft and resisting arrest, as well as a felony probation violation warrant out of Powell County. The Kalispell Police Department also had a misdemeanor warrant for Jones.

An eyewitness to Thursday’s incident, who asked not to be identified, was forced to stop his tractor-trailer at a roadblock and said he could see a white pickup on its side in a ditch.

“It appeared there was an accident, and then a bunch of police officers showed up,” the man told the Daily Inter Lake. “They evacuated everyone, but I couldn’t because I was pulling two trailers so I just had to wait.”

He said he heard sheriff’s deputies attempting to speak to the man.

“An ambulance showed up and someone was placed on a stretcher and put in an ambulance,” the man said.