Authorities say that on Friday evening, a vehicle filled with teenagers continually managed to evade Billings police. What crime they were suspected of committing at the time, or why police were interested in the vehicle, remains unclear as of this writing.
Early Saturday morning, at about 1:00 a.m., police had managed to stop the vehicle, although not in a way that police stops typically occur. Rather than the police cars and the suspect vehicle all facing the same direction, the suspects’ vehicle was pointed at the police vehicles that had stopped it.
Police were giving commands to the occupants of the vehicle — a driver and five passengers — to exit. However, while this was happening, the driver allegedly drove straight towards the officers.
Lieutenant Brandon Wooley from the Billings Police Department said in a press release that at least one officer, whom he declined to name, had been struck. Wooley said that the 35-year-old officer, a six-year veteran of the Billings Police Department, was taken to a nearby hospital. Though he sustained serious injuries, they are not considered life-threatening.
The vehicle allegedly sped past the scene of the accident and managed to make it a short distance before crashing. The six occupants of the vehicle all allegedly fled but were apprehended.
The driver of the vehicle was identified as a 14-year-old male who was arrested and remanded into youth services. He was charged with attempted deliberate homicide.
The five passengers in the vehicle were all identified as females between the ages of 12 and 14. They were taken into custody, although it remains unclear as of this writing what criminal charges, if any, they’ll be facing.
Billings, with a population of about 109,000, is the largest city in Montana, and it appears to have a juvenile crime problem on par with that of other cities of a similar size.
For example, as The Billings Gazette reported at the time back in 2019, a 17-year-old was accused of raping at least five teenage girls. So severe were the crimes of which Brayden Jaymes Pond was accused that his case was transferred to adult court, meaning that the penalties he’d be facing would be considerably harsher than they would have if he’d been charged in juvenile court.