UPDATE - new details - CLICK HERE
Cascade County Sheriff Jesse Slaughter, Great Falls Police Chief Jeff Newton, and Cascade County Attorney Josh Racki hosted a news conference to provide information about the "volatile and lengthy" high-speed chase that began in Great Falls and ended in Simms on Monday, October 17, 2022.
On Sunday night at 11:55 p.m., a suspect identified as Santana Ledeau was identified as a vandalism suspect.
Chief Newton said Ledeau was involved in a "disturbance" behind a business in Great Falls on Monday afternoon and fled the scene. In accordance with GFPD policy, police did not chase after him at the time because probable cause for a felony traffic stop did not exist.
Once Ledeau left Great Falls city limits, however, he began driving erratically and was reportedly in a stolen pickup truck.
Deputies then responded to an attempted carjacking in Ulm, where the suspect reportedly fired a gun; that carjacking was not successful.
A short time later, Ledeaus uccessfully carjacked a vehicle in or near Cascade, and then reportedly tried to run over a Sheriff's deputy.
Ledeau continued driving recklessly on the wrong side of I-15, crossed into Lewis & Clark County, and then took Highway 434 headed back to Cascade County.
As he approached the town of Simms, officers successfully deployed "stop sticks." The vehicle crashed into a car that was backing out of a driveway, and then crashed in a ditch. Ledeau was then arrested.
There were no serious injuries reported to any officers, citizens, or Ledeau.
Chief Newton said that many schools in Cascade County implemented shelter-in-place procedures only as a precaution due to the "erratic" behavior of Ladeaux; there was no direct threat to schools or students.
The GFPD asks anyone with information about the incident, including anyone who was in danger due to the suspect's driving, to contact them. Tipsters may remain anonymous. You can call the GFPD at 406-455-8408, send a message to the GFPD Facebook page, or report online at WWW.P3TIPS.COM.
No other information has been released at this point. We will update you if we get more details.
The chase and apprehension of Ledeaux involved several agencies, including CCSO, GFPD, Montana Highway Patrol, Lewis & Clark County Sheriff's Office, and aerial support from a US Customs & Border Protection helicopter.
The Montana Department of Justice's Division of Criminal Investigation will be taking the lead in the investigation.
NOTE: Sheriff Slaughter said on Monday that the deputy was putting down stop-sticks when the suspect tried to run over the deputy; on Tuesday, Slaughter said the deputy was not, in fact, putting down stop stick at the time.
- 'Volatile' car chase ends in Simms
- Obituary: Kataunia Edwards-Godat
- WATCH: 'murmuration' of birds
- 'Hi-risk' narcotics arrest in GF
- Marijuana sales OK in GF
- Young woman dies in GF crash