Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On June 28, 2023, at approximately 10:39 p.m., officers with the Missoula Police Department responded to the Travelodge Motel on East Broadway after receiving a request to remove a male from the premises.

The complainant advised that a shirtless male wearing rubber gloves was walking around in front of the building carrying a hammer and possibly trying to gain access to a room. The complainant later informed law enforcement that the suspect left through the alley between the Motel and Five Guys’ Burgers. 

An officer located a male matching the description of the suspect inside a truck in the Five Guys’ parking lot. When the suspect saw the officer, he ducked down behind the back seat of the truck. An employee of Five Guys’ came outside and informed the officer that he knows the owner of the truck, and the owner was not male currently inside.  

The officer and other officers on the scene ordered the suspect to exit the truck. The suspect initially complied, but then ran from the officers on foot. An officer tackled the suspect and tried to take him into custody. The suspect stiffened his arms against the officer, thrashed, and pulled away in a clear effort to resist being taken into custody. According to court documents, the officer ultimately had to utilize his taser to get the suspect into compliance. 

Once in handcuffs, the suspect identified himself as “Pedro Morales.” The officers soon discovered that the suspect provided them with a false identity, and his true identity is 37-year-old Jeremy De La Cruz. Officers searched De La Cruz incident to arrest.  

Following the search, an officer observed De La Cruz move his left foot to cover a baggie lying on the ground. The officers had to order De La Cruz to lift his foot off the ground multiple times before he complied.  

The baggie they found underneath contained a white, crystalline substance that later tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine. An officer reviewed his “in-car” video recording of the incident and clearly observed the baggie falling out of De La Cruz’s pocket during the search incident to arrest. Another officer also located the hammer De La Cruz had been reportedly carrying while sitting on the front passenger seat of the truck De La Cruz was in. 

De La Cruz is currently being charged with felony criminal possession of dangerous drugs, criminal trespass to vehicles, obstructing a peace officer, and resisting arrest. On June 30, 2023, De La Cruz made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $25,000. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable. 

Have You Seen Missoula's Utility Boxes? Here are 21 of Them

Missoula's Traffic Light Box Art

More From Newstalk KGVO 1290 AM & 98.3 FM