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Stolen Truck

Police work the scene of a crash after a suspect stole a pickup truck and hit a light pole on 13th Street West just north of Grand Avenue on Wednesday.

BETHANY BAKER, Gazette Staff

A man named Dudes Adams tried to stop the person who stole his truck by jumping into the back and kicking out the window, Adams' girlfriend said.

The episode ended in a crash when the suspect, 23-year-old Rusty Castro, bailed out of the truck on 13th Street West. Without a driver, the vehicle crashed into a pole with Adams still in the bed.

Adams, the truck owner, was taken to the intensive care unit at Billings Clinic on Wednesday, said his girlfriend, Robin Kreuz.

“He has a collapsed lung," Kreuz said. "His teeth are all busted out. Gashed face.”

Officers arrested Castro about 12 blocks away from the crash, according to a press release from Billings Police Sgt. Shane Winden. He was charged with felony auto theft and felony criminal endangerment.

The theft reportedly began at the Bighorn Boots on 19th Street West and Grand Avenue. That's where Kreuz works, and she said Adams came to visit her as usual.

It wasn't usual when Adams' 2004 GMC pickup started moving behind the shop.

“I looked out the window and I saw somebody get in his truck,” Kreuz said.

Police said it was left running with the keys inside. They called 911 and got into her car to chase the truck down, according to Kreuz and Winden's press release.

Adams and Kreuz chased the stolen pickup through a nearby neighborhood. At one point, Kreuz said they boxed in the pickup. That's when Adams jumped into the rear bed, she said.

The chase continued until they reached 13th Street West and Avenue C.

“When they came across 13th, my boyfriend kicked the back window in, reached through and tried to grab the guy,” Kreuz said.

That's when Castro bailed from the truck, she said.

With Adams in the back, the truck hit a light pole on 13th Street West south of Avenue C. Adams was thrown into the back of the cab and was nearly ejected from the pickup's bed, police said.

Kreuz took Adams to the hospital, where he's being treated. She said Billings police were quick to respond, following along as she and Adams went on their own chase.

Officers located Castro on the 900 block of Avenue B as he was still running from the scene. He was taken into custody and is held on one count of auto theft and one count of criminal endangerment. Both are felonies.

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General Assignment Reporter

Reporter for The Billings Gazette.