Man Drives Into a Missoula Business Causing Catastrophic Damage
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On June 13, 2023, at approximately 1:00 a.m., Missoula Police Department officers responded to the Missoula Copy Center on McDonald Avenue. A vehicle had plowed through the front wall of the business causing catastrophic damage. Police spoke to multiple witnesses who heard the crash, came outside, and saw a man trying to back his red SUV vehicle out of the building.
They told him to stop but he refused, got his vehicle unstuck, and fled in his vehicle. The vehicle’s bumper was still in the building and the witnesses explained the direction the vehicle fled. While police were speaking to witnesses, the bystanders started yelling and pointing as the suspect vehicle drove by. An officer saw a male driver in the vehicle and yelled at him to pull over.
The male, later identified as 40-year-old Perez Mendoza, had wide eyes that appeared to be stunned. Perez began to turn left and speed up. Perez continued to drive down McDonald Ave and was pursued by another officer. Perez failed to maneuver a turn, drove over a curb and sidewalk, but then entered the roadway and continued to flee. Perez began to drift to the right and struck two more cars before he came to a stop.
According to court documents, there was a piece of sheet rock on the vehicle, it was missing a front bumper, and the windshield was shattered. A piece of glass also had the Copy Center logo on it. Perez was non-compliant with officers and would not remove his keys from the vehicle.
Perez eventually left his vehicle. He was unstable with poor balance. He had red watery eyes, a stunned expression, and had to lean against his car for balance. An officer conducted field sobriety tests. Perez exhibited numerous indicators of impairment and smelled of alcohol. Perez was read the implied consent advisory and blew a .241 BAC. The damage to the business is expected to far exceed $1,500 in damages.
Perez was arrested and transported to the Missoula County Detention Center. He is currently being charged with felony criminal mischief, driving under the influence - first offense (aggravated), reckless driving- 1st offense, and failure to give notice by quickest means of an accident.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.