Man charged with stealing motorcycle, assaulting child at daycare

2014-06-16T17:15:00Z 2014-06-20T16:24:13Z Man charged with stealing motorcycle, assaulting child at daycareBy EDDIE GREGG The Billings Gazette

When police confronted a man Friday about a stolen motorcycle, prosecutors say he took off on foot and hit a child in the head as he ran through the yard of a Billings daycare.

Police chased after the 24-year-old Billings man, Travis Jacob Harris, and caught him on the 1600 block of Wyoming Avenue, according to charging documents. He fought back — and tossed away a baggie of meth — prompting an officer to stun him with a Taser.

On Monday, Harris appeared in Yellowstone County Justice Court, where he was charged with felony theft, two felony counts of drug possession and felony assault on a minor. He also faces misdemeanor counts of drug possession, paraphernalia possession, resisting arrest and obstructing a peace officer.

The chain of events leading to Harris’ arrest started Thursday when a man reported that his motorcycle had been stolen.

The man told police that he had listed his motorcycle, a 2008 Kawasaki Ninja, on Craigslist. Another man, who identified himself as “Jacob,” called the owner in response to the ad, took the motorcycle for a ride and never returned, charging documents state.

The next day, the owner of the motorcycle told police he had spoken to some other people and they had identified Harris as the man who stole the motorcycle.

When police went to Harris’ home in the 4100 block of Morgan Avenue, they spotted the stolen motorcycle, prosecutors said. Harris, who was at the home, ran away, sprinting through backyards and alleys with officers in pursuit.

When Harris ran through the backyard of a daycare in 4100 block of Ryan Avenue, prosecutors say he shoved one girl to the ground and hit another girl, giving her a bump on the head. 

As he struggled with officers, Harris threw a baggie he had been carrying. A witness spotted the bag, in which police found small amounts of methamphetamine and marijuana. Harris also had a broken glass pipe with meth residue and two methadone hydrochloride pills in his wallet, police said.

Officers also seized his phone, which had the same number as the phone number used to respond to the Craigslist ad for the motorcycle that was stolen.

Appearing in court Monday by video from the county jail, Harris asked to be released without bond.

He said that if he fails to make any of his court appearances, he “will gladly accept the maximum sentence” for each one of his eight charges, which carry a total sentence of 27 years prison.

Judge David A. Carter set his bond at $15,000 and ordered him to appear in district court on June 20.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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