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Man gets 5 years for leading police on reckless pursuit


December 6, 2017

Courtesy photo

Gene Allen Swick

A state district judge sentenced a Havre man to five years with The state Department of Corrections for leading officers on a reckless pursuit that reached 100 miles per hour and almost ran someone over.

Gene Allen Swick, born in 1976, was sentenced to 10 years with the DOC with five years suspended for felony criminal endangerment Monday in District Court in Havre. The sentence was part of a plea deal that dismissed misdemeanor counts of obstructing a peace officer, reckless driving, criminal mischief and stop sign violation.

A deputy tried to pull Swick's over March 26 on the suspicion that he was driving a stolen pickup truck.

The deputy told Swick, who had a passenger in the pickup, that she stopped him because she wanted to see if the VIN plate on the truck was missing, which she then noticed that it was. The deputy told Swick to step out of the car.

Swick instead put his vehicle in gear and took off.

During the chase, Swick passed several vehicles at high speeds, ran a stop sign and reached 100 mph on Old Post Road, where he passed a bicyclist and an occupied vehicle. Swick ran another stop sign and continued going southwest on U.S. Highway 87, again reaching 100 mph. A Montana Highway Patrol trooper joined the pursuit.

When he was near Fort Assinniboine, Swick came to a sharp corner, ran into a ditch and almost crashed, but he got back on the road and continued south.

Law enforcement pursued Swick to the end of a Hill County road, where Swick drove through two gates and entered a farm yard, where he nearly ran someone over. A trooper was behind the vehicle as it stopped due to flat tires. Swick and the passenger then took off on foot.

Swick was also sentenced for a misdemeanor charge of obscuring identity of a machine to six months in the county jail with with credit for 235 days served, stemming from a March 23 incident in which Swick switched VIN plates and had one in his possession that was registered to a stolen vehicle.


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