A 24-year-old man has been charged after prosecutors say he led law enforcement on a high-speed chase in a stolen pickup through parts of two counties on Tuesday, ending in a foot chase on Billings' West End after the truck lost two tires.
Seth James Todd faces felony charges of theft, criminal endangerment and drug possession, as well as driving with a suspended license, a misdemeanor. Justice of the Peace Jeanne Walker set bond for Todd at $75,000 on Wednesday.
Todd stole a truck valued at $25,000 from outside a business on South 29th Street on Tuesday, according to charges.
The truck, a 2016 Chevrolet Silverado, was a work truck used for Moon Construction, owner Dennis Moon told The Gazette, and had been left unoccupied with the keys inside for roughly 10 minutes. It contained $5,000 worth of tools, charges state.
Montana Highway Patrol began following the truck on a county road east of Park City, after Moon’s wife reportedly spotted the truck and followed it from near their home west of Laurel, Moon said on Tuesday.
The pursuit with MHP headed west into Park City, then looped north, crossing under Interstate 90 on Old Highway 10 before doubling back east, toward Laurel. Todd was driving in excess of 100 miles per hour at times, charges state. Troopers eventually lost contact with him, due to icy road conditions.
Law enforcement located the truck later west of Billings and pursued it to the intersection of Shiloh Road and Monad Road, where Todd reportedly lost control of the truck on a roundabout around 8 p.m.
Both passenger-side tires had fallen off during the course of the pursuit, charges state.
Law enforcement approached the truck, but Todd opened the door and ran, charges state, leading troopers on a foot chase that ended when Todd fell while running into an apartment complex.
The trooper twice used a stun gun on Todd, but it had no apparent effect, charges state.
Todd had a set of brass knuckles and a folding knife on him when arrested, according to charges, as well as a syringe that field-tested positive for methamphetamine.
A 24-year-old passenger in the truck, Jeremiah Reichert, was cited for resisting arrest after troopers said he tried to open the truck door and flee. Reichert, who had been on community supervision for vehicle theft, told troopers he did not know Todd and declined to answer any other questions.
In a statement to a trooper at the Yellowstone County jail after his arrest, Todd said he had taken the truck after noticing the keys were inside. He also said that Reichert had wanted to jump out of the truck due to Todd’s driving.