By Jared Ritz
A Hays woman led local law enforcement on a chase from Fort Belknap to the Fresno Dam area and then back to Havre early Saturday, the Hill County Sheriff's Office said today.
Marie Josephine Longknife, 25, was arrested on charges of driving under the influence, reckless driving, assault with a weapon and other charges at 2:09 a.m. Saturday, the sheriff's office said. She was at the Hill County Detention Center this morning awaiting arraignment in state District Court.
The chase covered about 70 miles.
The 1993 green Pontiac Grand Am was being pursued on the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation by reservation police for suspicous activity, Blaine County Sheriff Glen Houstiss said today.
The vehicle left the reservation, and was met by Blaine County sheriff's deputy Pat Pyette, Houstiss said.
Pyette continued to follow and attempted to pull the car over when it entered the Havre city limits, Houstiss said.
It turned onto Second Street from the Oakwood Village turnoff, then got back onto First Street, Hill County Sheriff Greg Szudera said.
The vehicle struck a deputy's pickup at 1:26 a.m. near Uncle Joe's steak house, causing the pickup to hit a parked car and a chain-link fence at a private residence, Szudera said.
Deputy Cory Matkin, who was driving the pickup, was not injured in the crash, but the 1999 Dodge half-ton pickup is still in not working order.
Szudera said the wreck was caused by the suspect.
"(Matkin) attempted to go along side of her, and she rammed him," he said.
The car continued through town on U.S. Highway 2 before turning around near Blackie's tavern and the turnoff for Fresno Reservoir and heading back toward town. The chase involved Hill and Blaine County deputies, and reached speeds of 95 mph, a Hill County sheriff's report said.
Stop strips were laid west of Havre near Tilleman Motors to pop the tires and hopefully stop the chase. At 2:04 a.m., the car hit the strips. Three minutes later, a deputy's vehicle boxed the Grand Am in, ending the chase, the sheriff's report said.
The deputy's vehicle sustained minimal damage, Szudera said.