HAVRE, Mont. (NMB) – A Hingham man was arraigned in Hill County District Court on Monday after allegedly taking part in a high-speed pursuit earlier this month.
Christopher Paul Hammond, 22, pleaded not guilty to the felonies of criminal endangerment and criminal mischief, as well as the misdemeanors of fleeing from or eluding a Peace Officer and operating a motor vehicle as a habitual traffic offender.
According to court documents, at around 5 PM on March 16th on US Highway 2 in Havre, Montana Highway Patrol Trooper Christopher Baker observed Hammond, who previously had his driver’s license revoked, in a green van with wood paneling covering a broken window.
Baker attempted to conduct a traffic stop, but Hammond fled the scene, cutting off oncoming vehicles while turning at the Montana Avenue intersection. The van continued making quick turns and ignoring stop signs. At one point, Baker clocked the van at 68 miles per hour on 5th Avenue.
Between the flu clinic and Northern Montana Hospital, the van stopped to let three passengers out before continuing to flee authorities.
Around 15 minutes later at mile marker 377 on US 2, a Hill County Deputy Sheriff successfully used a tire deflation device on the van. The van then drove into a planted field before coming to a stop at around 5:40 PM.
Hammond exited the vehicle after it was approached by officers from Havre Police, Hill County Sheriff’s Department and Montana Highway Patrol, who had their weapons drawn.
Hammond was taken into custody and is alleged to have caused over $1,500 in damage to the planted field.
Hammond remains in the Hill County Detention Center on $35,000 bond.