Havre Daily News
After the reported theft of a gun and an ensuing chase, a Havre man was apprehended Tuesday and transported to the state mental hospital at Warm Springs.
Bing N Bob's Sporting Goods personnel reported a gun stolen at 2:47 p.m. Tuesday after Joel Tristan Spackman, 21, walked out with a pistol. He then led officers from the Montana Highway Patrol and Chouteau County and Cascade County sheriff's offices on a normal-speed chase south on U.S. Highway 87 toward Great Falls.
Authorities used spike strips in the roadway near Carter to disable Spackman's vehicle. He was arrested after members of the Cascade County tactical team used a tazer to subdue Spackman at about 7 p.m., Chouteau County Sheriff Vern Burdick said.
Havre Assistant Police Chief George Tate today said Havre police, after the gun was reported stolen, notified other authorities that they could not find Spackman.
Burdick said his office took over when an off-duty Meagher County sheriff's deputy, after hearing the description of the vehicle on his radio, called in Spackman's vehicle and got behind him and followed him until Chouteau County deputies arrived on the scene.
Burdick said Spackman drove 16 miles after his vehicle's tires had been destroyed by spike strips.
“Choteau County got involved just north of Loma,” Burdick said in an interview from Fort Benton today. “Just north of Fort Benton, deputies spike stripped the tires on the passenger side ... first. Then, just south of Fort Benton, the Fort Benton Police Department set up another spike strip and stripped the tires on the driver's side of the vehicle. He continued like that from about mile marker 38 to mile marker 22. He then lost control of the vehicle and went into the ditch. He was just doing speed limit and wouldn't pull over. He was going about 35 when he went into the ditch.”
Burdick said Spackman, after going into the ditch, got out of the vehicle and began walking through the fields with a cigarette and a gun. Spackman never took a shot, and no one was injured in the incident.
Authorities followed behind Spackman, trying to talk him into dropping the gun. He ignored them. Toward nightfall, Burdick said, the Border Patrol assisted with a helicopter. He said this was to see if they could get Spackman to drop the gun. Spackman continued walking, he said.
After Spackman was taken into custody, Burdick said he was taken to the ambulance crew to make sure he wasn't injured, and since Cascade County had already received orders to transport him, Cascade County Deputies took him to Warm Springs Hospital for further treatment.
Daisy Sherman was driving behind Spackman, following a police escort during the incident.
Sherman said her and others were stopped about three or four times before the escort allowed them to go on their own. She said at the second to last stop a man in an escort told her there was a man with a gun and that officers were trying to stop him.
Jim Evans, co-owner of Bing N Bob's said the Spackman incident was very strange. He said Spackman asked an employee if he could see a gun. After looking the weapon over, he then threw money on the counter and yelled, “You have a deal.” Evans said today that Spackman was reported for theft because he did not fill out the proper forms.