Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - At approximately 11:36 p.m. on March 27th, 2024, a Missoula Police Department Officer was dispatched to Mary Avenue & Clark Street for a report of an injury crash involving a single vehicle and a sign. While the officer was responding, he received a radio report that a male had fled the scene. 

Upon arrival, the officer observed a pickup truck parked on top of a lamp post and a female sitting on the curb holding her bloody head. Dispatch informed the officer the registration of the crashed motor vehicle returned to Roman Chavez. Dispatch also advised Chavez had an active concealed carry permit. 

The officer continued to search for Chavez and observed a male running away from him toward S. Reserve Street. The officer yelled on numerous occasions to the male suspect to stop, but he continued to flee. As the male approached the end of a shipping container, he slipped and fell. While the male was standing back up, the officer observed a black object in the back of his waistband. 

The Suspect Continues to Run  

The officer continued to yell stop, but the male continued to run around the corner of the building. When the officer caught up to the male, he observed him placing his arms on top of his head. The officer shined his flashlight on the male and observed blood on his face. The officer waited for other officers to reach his location. Eventually, the male was placed in handcuffs and he identified himself as Chavez. While performing a search incident to arrest, an officer located an empty handgun holster on Chavez’s waistband. 

Chavez advised he was not injured, although he had significant injuries. He was bleeding from his nose and had blood all over his mouth and chin. An ambulance was called to ensure he was not injured further. 

READ MORE: Missoula News - Crime Reports

Chavez Shares His Side of the Story 

According to court documents, Chavez was overly friendly and cooperative with the officer at this point and continued to take all the credit for crashing his truck and running away from officers. The officer noticed that Chaves was slurring his words while speaking. While speaking with an officer, Chavez admitted to “having a couple of drinks throughout the night”.  

Chavez believed he was not too intoxicated to drive, but admitted he took the corner at the intersection of Mary Ave. and Clark St. too fast, which caused him to lose control of his truck. After he crashed into what he thought was a stop sign, he got nervous when he saw police arrive because he had a Marijuana/THC vape pen in his pocket and he did not want to get in trouble. He admitted it was the wrong decision, but stated he decided to run away because he was nervous. 

Chavez is currently being charged with felony criminal endangerment, DUI first offense, leaving the scene of an accident, carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence, and obstructing a peace officer.  

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

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Gallery Credit: Katherine Gallagher

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