Meth Fueled Stolen Car Chase Ends with Gunfire inside Casino
As KGVO reported on Monday, 29 year-old Matthew VanVallin was arrested after a high speed pursuit in Lake County, however, additional information about the incident has come to light after court records were released.
A 2016 Jeep Compass was stolen from Missoula with the owner’s pet dog inside. A Ronan police officer found the dog at a gas station in the area. The officer noted the license plate and that it had been reported stolen, so he initiated a pursuit.
The pursuit went for over 30 miles where a Missoula County Sheriff’s Deputy placed stop sticks that flattened the vehicles tires, however the pursuit continued at over 80 miles per hour until the driver crashed the vehicle into a column at the Gray Wolf Peak Casino.
The suspect, identified as Matthew Van Vallin, entered the casino where a gunshot was heard inside. Van Vallin left the building and attempted to hide behind a rock and eventually surrendered. A .25 caliber handgun was recovered nearby.
Officers said there were 48 people in the casino when the pistol was discharged.
Van Vallin later admitted that he had been using methamphetamine prior to the pursuit.
No one was injured or wounded during the pursuit or from the gunshot inside the casino.
At his Missoula Justice Court appearance on Tuesday, Van Vallin was charged by Deputy County Attorney Meghann Paddock with four felonies, including Criminal Endangerment and Theft in addition to a misdemeanor of fleeing a police officer. She asked for bond to be set at $200,000 due to the extreme risk to the public.
Judge Landee Holloway set bail at $100,000 and ordered Van Vallin directly to pretrial supervision. His next court appearance will be July 18.