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Man Accused Of Stealing School Vehicle & Fleeing Police Pleads Guilty

A man who was arrested in April for leading police on a chase through a field in a pickup he stole from Box Elder School pleaded guilty Monday in District Court.

Treyton R. Sutherland, born in 1998,  pleaded guilty to felony criminal mischief and misdemeanor DUI-first offense. He is set to be sentenced Feb. 3.

Thanks to the plea agreement, Sutherland had six other charges against him dismissed, including felony theft and five additional misdemeanors.

Court documents say that on April 9 a Hill County sheriff’s deputy responded to Jitterbugs in Box Elder after dispatchers received a report of someone stealing alcohol from the store and then arguing with people outside.

The officer spoke to a store employee, who said Sutherland tried to buy alcohol but didn’t have money. He then took three cans of Twisted Tea and left without paying.

The deputy found Sutherland walking on the side of Highway 87 and asked him to stop and talk. Sutherland ran, jumped over a fence and ran through a field.

The deputy found him at Box Elder School. It turned out he had gotten behind the wheel of a vehicle that belonged to the school and took off in it.

The deputy gave chase and told dispatchers to notify the Rocky Boy Police Department of the incident in progress.

During the pursuit, Sutherland eventually drove through a field, where he spun the tires and kicked up dust, making it difficult for the deputy to stay with him.

He eventually crashed into a ditch.

He took off, but the deputy and Rocky Boy officers eventually found him lying in the weeds, either sleeping or passed out.

The suspect was transferred to the emergency room at Northern Montana Hospital, where he was combative with hospital employees.


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Email Paul Dragu at (406) 262-7778
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