Man Bites and Kicks Missoula Police During his DUI Arrest
At around 2:20 p.m. on Sunday, Missoula Police Officers received information that the driver of a light gray passenger car was reportedly falling asleep at the wheel. The complainant said the driver was operating his vehicle in the middle of both lanes of traffic while driving down Orange Street.
Another witness called police and said that same vehicle ran a red light on Brooks Street, weaved into oncoming traffic, was traveling the wrong way on Pattee Street, and almost hit another vehicle. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.
“At one point, one of the witnessed called and said that they had observed this vehicle park in the 3200 block of Stephens Avenue,” Welsh said. “They also reported seeing an adult male walk into the building. The officers responded to that location, located the vehicle in question, and noted that it matched the description from the previous moving violations. Officers made contact with the witness who described the male suspect to them and told them which building he had entered.”
Officers observed multiple empty cans of alcohol inside the suspect vehicle and several items of marijuana paraphernalia. The officers eventually made contact with the suspect and identified him as 23-year-old Matthew Corntassel.
“Mr. Corntassel was eventually arrested for DUI after the officers began an investigation into the driving behavior,” Welsh said. “When told he was under arrest, Mr. Corntassel attempted to walk away and then began fighting with officers when they were attempting to put him into custody.”
An officer was able to grab control of Corntassel from behind and leg sweep him to the ground. While on the ground, Corntassel continued to kick toward officers and grab at their duty belts and gear. As another officer attempted to gain control of Corntassel’s right leg, he kicked it straight up and back, hitting her right knee, causing it to be swollen and sore.
Corntassel continued to resist and was told that if he continued, officers would be forced to tase him. At that point, Corntassel was moved to his stomach and secured with handcuffs. An officer observed that Corntassel was continuing to use his head in an attempt to headbutt officers. As the officer was moving Corntassel’s head to the ground to prevent him from headbutting officers, he bit the officer’s hand.
Corntassel was assisted to his feet and escorted to the back on the officer’s patrol vehicle. While in the back of the officer’s patrol vehicle, Corntassel was able to slip his handcuffs to the front of his body and proceeded to punch the partition, scream profanities, and make threats.
He was eventually transported to the Missoula County Detention Center. He is currently being charged with felony criminal endangerment, two counts of felony assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and DUI.