BOZEMAN – The man who reportedly led law enforcement on a high-speed chase was captured Thursday after he was found hiding in the basement of a Bozeman police sergeant in Gallatin County, according to court documents.
William Anthony Rogers, 30, was captured near Maudlow north of Bozeman after an early Thursday morning pursuit and search. He is being held on more than $140,000 bail.
Rogers is also a suspect in a Billings shooting that happened on Wednesday, and was taken into custody by Gallatin police after the pursuit and search came to an end, according to court documents.
Rogers was charged with burglary, criminal endangerment, and criminal possession of dangerous drugs, all felonies. He could also face charges in Yellowstone County, according to Billings police.
According to charging documents, on Thursday, Nov. 15, a Bozeman police officer was patrolling near a Bozeman hotel when he observed a vehicle backed into a parking stall with temporary registration. The vehicle’s tag was found to be expired and a warrant was issued for the owner. Upon further investigation, the officer found two people who appeared to be sleeping in the vehicle.
The male woke up and started the vehicle and accelerated out the parking lot. The officer was unable to locate the vehicle and suspects which fled the area.
A Gallatin County sheriff’s deputy located the vehicle traveling on Springhill Lane at approximately 1:27 a.m. and attempted to stop the vehicle. The vehicle did not stop and a high-speed pursuit ensued, which ended shortly before 2 a.m. when the vehicle became stuck near Maudlow.
Rogers reportedly climbed over the passenger, Chelcie Watson, and fled on foot. Watson identified the driver as Rogers.
A K9 search of the area was unsuccessful in locating Rogers. A search of the vehicle turned up a glass meth pipe, with baggies on the floorboard. A handgun was also found in plain view. When Watson was searched, law enforcement found a Hydrocodone pill and a black straw with meth residue.
After the vehicle was towed from the scene, Rogers reportedly made his way to a residence and forcibly entered the home, occupied by several people, making his way to the basement to hide from law enforcement.
One of the occupants of the home at the time was a Bozeman police sergeant. The officer noticed the lock on the basement door was not how he had left it and told his wife to call 911. When deputies arrived they were able to arrest Rogers in the basement without incident. Rogers told deputies he had climbed a tree after fleeing on foot and watched officers walk very near him and thought he would be caught.
The passenger, Chelcie Maryclaire Watson, 30, of Otter, Mont., was charged with possession of dangerous drugs. She is being held on a $2,500 bail and was ordered to wear a drug patch.
In addition to the pursuit, Rogers is a suspect in a shooting that occurred in Billings in the early morning hours Wednesday on the 900 block of North 23rd Street,, according to court documents. Both Rogers and Watson are scheduled to appear in court on Dec. 7.
A 37-year-old Billings male was dropped off at Billings Clinic with a single handgun gunshot wound to his left lower body when possibly two gunshots were fired from an SUV, striking the victim.
Story by Ken Spencer, Mederios Babb, and Andrea Lutz – MTN News