Missoula Strangulation Suspect Caught After Trying, Failing to Leap Fence During Chase
Police arrested 29-year-old Cote Wheeler just before 1:00 A.M. Sunday, July 29, after they received a call that there was physical disturbance in progress in the 1200 block of Jackson Street. According to Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh, the physical disturbance involved strangulation.
"There was an argument between he and his girlfriend that escalated to him physically throwing her to the ground," Welsh said. "It looks like they were just arguing over minor, non-specific things, there was alcohol consumption going on. Mr. Wheeler threw her to the floor and then covered her nose and mouth with his hands, obstructing her breathing."
When police pulled up to the house, they saw Mr. Wheeler outside trying to get back in the residence, but when he saw police, he tried to run away.
"She was able to lock him outside, which is where he was when the officers arrived," Welsh said. "During the foot chase he ran through a yard and attempted to leap a back fence and he caused some damage to the fence itself, the wooden fence, when he failed to clear it."
Wheeler actually received a misdemeanor criminal mischief charge for breaking the fence and police were able to catch him after he fell back with the broken boards. Wheeler received eight charges altogether including a felony intimidation charge and a felony strangulation charge. Many of Wheeler’s charges are related to past crimes as he had three extra-jurisdictional warrants out for his arrest.