The Missoula County Attorney’s filed 14 new felony offenses this week, which is one less than last week. On Friday, Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings appeared on KGVO’s Talk Back show and he provided the weekly crime report.

“Of those 14 cases, seven of them were violent crimes or crimes against persons,” Jennings said. “Within those seven violent crimes, three of them were family violence, three were non family violence, and one was a sex crime. There were four endangerment crimes. Those typically involve some sort of driving behavior. They are often associated with a DUI. We had two property crimes. One was a theft and one was a burglary. We had one administrative crime. That is kind of a broad category, but this particular offense was carrying a concealed weapon while under the influence of alcohol.”

According to Jennings, a large portion of crimes in Missoula are related to drugs or alcohol.

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“It is not very common for us to see violent offenses, particularly property crimes, that don’t have some element of substance abuse,” Jennings said. “That is something that our justice system is really trying to work on because we don’t want to prosecute people, we want them to not commit the crimes to begin with. If, as a society, we can start working on dealing with some of those underlying issues of alcohol and drug abuse, maybe people wouldn’t commit crimes or act in a dangerous manner.”

When talking about violent crimes, Jennings mentioned that he was robbed at gun point years ago.

“I wasn’t shot and I wasn’t injured,” Jennings said. “I lost about $20 from my wallet and I was fine, but I wasn’t really fine. It was something that stuck with me for a long time because I was scared, but I was also very frustrated. There is a feeling of helplessness when you’re the victim of a crime. That sort of helplessness can easily manifest into anger or frustration and cause some other problems.”

Jennings said they don’t want people to feel that way and they certainly don’t want weapons pulled on people. There has been a recent uptick in road rage incidents in Missoula and weapons are often involved.

“It is too easy for those situations to escalate,” Jennings said. “Somebody cutting you off in traffic or not using their turn signal should end at just that. It should end in a shoulder shrug and going on our way, not into greater escalation of behavior that could cause someone to get injured, killed, or at a minimum, very afraid of what just happened.”

You can listen to Jennings’ full report below:

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