GILLETTE, Wyo. – A preliminary hearing for a man allegedly involved in a pursuit earlier week where he crashed into multiple cars and a building has been set for mid-March, Campbell County court records said.
Rusty Locke, 44, is charged with felony aggravated eluding, felony aggravated assault, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and other traffic violations with prosecutors alleging he fled from a traffic stop attempt on March 6, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in the case.
Locke is accused of failing to stop for a Campbell County Sheriff’s deputy who allegedly observed him speeding in a green Dodge Ram at 9th Street and Highway 59, choosing instead to flee into the McDonald’s parking lot on Camel Drive where he crashed into three vehicles, the affidavit states.
The deputy pursued Locke along several streets in the area to the intersection of Butler Spaeth Road and 9th Street, according to the affidavit, which says he reportedly swerved in an attempt to strike a Gillette Police officer who was parked on the side of the road in his patrol vehicle.
Per the affidavit, the officer was parked with his emergency lights activated and saw Locke deliberately turn his steering wheel toward him. Locke, however, lost control due to slick road conditions and crashed into a nearby yard, narrowly missing the officer’s patrol vehicle.
After he accelerated out of the yard again, Locke reportedly struck a passing pickup broadside and continued to flee past Hillcrest Elementary School at 90 mph, the affidavit states, adding that the pursuit continued on to Country Club Road and across Highway 59.
After crossing the highway, Locke entered the Walgreens parking lot, struck the building, and fled the area on foot back across Highway 59 to Dairy Queen where he was caught by Gillette Police officers and a Campbell County Sheriff’s deputy, according to the affidavit.
Over the course of the pursuit, Locke caused an estimated $10,000 in damage to property and vehicles, two of which were disabled as a result of being crashed into, the affidavit states.
Later on in the investigation, officers learned that Locke had been operating the green Dodge without permission after contacting the owner, per the affidavit.
No charges were filed against a 24-year-old woman passenger who fled on foot after the green Dodge stopped at Walgreens.
Locke was arraigned on all charges before Circuit Court Judge Wendy Bartlett on March 7, who said she found him to be a danger to the community and set bond at $25,000 cash-only.
A preliminary hearing for the felony charges has been set for March 14 to determine if sufficient probable cause exists to send the case on to District Court for further proceedings, court records say.