Judge – “Someone Could Have Been Killed” – Man Placed On $25,000 Bond After Nearly Running Down Police Officer
Judge Karen Orzech set bail for 30 year-old Jason Simonetti at $25,000 after remarking that 'someone could have been killed' in an incident that occurred over the weekend.
Simonetti was charged with felony criminal endangerment after allegedly almost running down a Missoula police officer. He has also been charged with aggravated DUI, fleeing from or eluding a police officer and careless driving. He was arrested Sunday night and booked into the Missoula County Jail on Sunday at about 8:30 p.m.
According to court documents, Simonetti allegedly fled the scene after a hit and run incident that occurred near Broadway and Russell early Sunday evening. As police were investigating, Simonetti allegedly returned to the scene, where a Missoula police officer attempted to flag him down. Simonetti accelerated toward the officer who narrowly escaped being struck by the approaching vehicle. Simonetti was eventually stopped by pursuing police vehicles after crossing the Scott Street bridge, and he was taken into custody. Court documents state that Simonetti appeared to be severely intoxicated at the time.
Deputy Missoula County Attorney Selene Koepke explained why she asked for such a high bail for Simonetti.
"As you know, there have been seven offenses charged, including felony criminal endangerment for nearly running over a Missoula city police officer who was trying to flag him down after a hit and run incident," Koepke said. "He's also charged with aggravated DUI, and was charged previously on March 24th, three days prior to this offense, so he has two pending DUI's at this time."
Even though Simonetti appeared to have no previous criminal record, Judge Orzech carefully read over the charging documents before commenting on the severity of the offenses.
"The affidavit on its face is just awful,"Orzech said. "I mean, there could easily have been someone killed, and that's what I'm worried about."
Orzech set bail at $25,000 and ordered Simonetti to appear in court again on April 14.