The two local men who allegedly stole vehicles and were caught after two separate police chases in Laurel over the weekend - one involving gunfire - were charged in Justice Court in Billings Tuesday.
Austin Allen Allery, 18, and Hayden O’Neil Lowry, 20, appeared by video in court Tuesday afternoon.
Allery faces felony charges of assault on a police officer, attempted theft of a police car, criminal mischief for damages to the car and equipment, and misdemeanor obstruction of a police officer.
Lowry faces felony charges of robbery for threatening a motorist with a handgun while stealing his car, criminal endangerment for the high-speed chase, and criminal mischief for damage to vehicles and property.
Bond was set at $75,000 for Allery and $100,000 for Lowry.
According to Justice Court records, at about 12:45 Monday Laurel Police Officer Bill Brew was looking for two men involved in thefts of at least one vehicle and the theft of guns.
Brew located Allery and Lowry wearing balaclavas that covered most of their faces. They stated that their vehicle had broken down and they received a ride to Laurel.
When asked for their identification, Allery allegedly said his name was Dereck Richardson and he was born June 29, 2010. When asked about his date of birth, he allegedly said he was not good at math.
The officer attempted to place Allery in handcuffs when both men took off on foot.
The records state Allery ran straight for another officer’s patrol vehicle. Brew prevented Allery from closing the door. Allery put the vehicle into drive, but because of the icy conditions, the tires spun and didn’t move very far.
Brew sat on Allery’s left leg while he was in the driver’s seat and Brew put the vehicle into park. Allery again put it in gear and tried to take off. Brew put it in park and took the keys.
Allery allegedly hit Brew several times and Brew hit Allery. Allery repeatedly tried to remove Brew’s handgun and allegedly said the officer needed to kill him. A third officer arrived and Allery was placed into handcuffs.
While placing him in the patrol vehicle, Allery allegedly resisted and kicked at the rear window, tried to remove his handcuffs and damaged the vehicle.
Meanwhile, Lowry had allegedly headed on foot to the nearby WalMart and Officer Stan Langve followed.
Langve searched WalMart but wasn’t able to locate Lowry.
A Yellowstone County Sheriff’s Office deputy located Lowry in the Pizza Hut parking lot.
Lowry reportedly had a handgun, tripped, fell and the gun fell out. He took it and allegedly pointed it at a man and stole his 2006 Ford F-350 truck.
A second citizen attempted to block Lowry by pinning the truck in. Lowry took off and both vehicles were damaged.
A responding deputy’s patrol car slid into a snow bank, so he exited the vehicle and fired three shots into the vehicle. The deputy said he hit the vehicle but did not know if he hit Lowry. Lowry fled the area at a high rate of speed.
Several agencies pursued Lowry, and eventually officers were able to lay down some spike strips to puncture the tires of the stolen vehicle.
Lowry allegedly attempted to aim for one of the officers in an attempt to avoid the strip.
Lowry lost control of the vehicle on Highway 10 West in Yellowstone County. He crashed the stolen vehicle into an embankment, causing further damage.
Lowry had been shot in the hand and was bleeding heavily and began to vomit. Officers administered first aid until the ambulance arrived.
According to court records, Allery is being charged with:
— felony assault on a peace officer for allegedly striking Brew;
— felony theft for allegedly attempting to steal a patrol vehicle belonging to the Laurel Police Department;
— felony criminal mischief as part of a common scheme for allegedly damaging the patrol vehicle and other equipment with damages amounting in excess of $1,500;
— misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer or other public servant for allegedly providing a false name to the officer.
According to court records, Lowry is being charged with:
— felony robbery by allegedly threatening the owner of a 2006 Ford F-350 with a handgun when stealing his car;
— felony criminal endangerment for allegedly driving at a high rate of speed while attempting to elude officers and putting officers and other motorists at risk;
— felony criminal mischief as part of a common scheme for allegedly damaging several vehicles and other property.
The maximum punishment for assault on a peace officer is 10 years in prison and a $50,000 fine; felony theft is 10 years and a $50,000 fine; robbery is $50,000 and 40 years; felony criminal mischief is 10 years and $50,000; and misdemeanor obstructing a peace officer is six months and a $500 fine.
Before the Monday incident, Laurel authorities were looking for the two men after they allegedly fled a traffic stop Saturday night and led officers on a high-speed chase before the truck went off an embankment and rolled. They fled the scene. Laurel police said the truck had been stolen in Miles City, and firearms, some confirmed stolen, were flung from the wreck.
Lowry and Allery will be arraigned in district court in Billings on March 6.
More charges are pending.