Deputy struck by stolen SUV, juvenile shot in foot during Minot police chase, court docs say
Joshua Chambers faces multiple charges, including attempted murder for allegedly trying to hit deputy with his vehicle.
MINOT — Court documents have revealed details about a lengthy chase in northwest North Dakota that included a young passenger being shot in the foot and a teenage driver who allegedly tried to hit a deputy with his vehicle.
Ward County prosecutors filed 18 charges on Monday, Feb. 27, against Joshua Alex Chambers, 18, of Minot. Those charges include attempted murder, possessing drugs in a correctional facility, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, theft, fleeing, aggravated reckless driving, failure to report several crashes and driving with a suspended license.
The charges stem from a Saturday morning pursuit that started in McLean County and eventually went into downtown Minot. Deputies were pursuing a stolen 2007 GMC Yukon that was northbound on U.S. Highway 83 near Underwood, North Dakota, according to a criminal complaint. The city is about 55 miles south of Minot.
According to the complaint:
McLean County deputies tried to stop the SUV because it was going 96 mph in a 70 mph zone. At times, it sped over 100 miles per hour.
The SUV used ditches to avoid two attempts by the Ward County Sheriff’s Department to deflate the vehicle’s tires. The vehicle was going about 15 mph when it used the left lane to avoid a third tire deflation device. It then allegedly swerved to hit Ward County Deputy Conrad Kossan.
Kossan, who had his gun drawn and pointed at the driver, was struck by the vehicle. He fired his weapon twice as he was knocked backward, but the SUV continued toward Minot. Kossan said he was not injured.
Ward and McLean county deputies continued to pursue the vehicle as Minot police tried unsuccessfully to divert the SUV. Officers reported the stolen vehicle nearly caused numerous head-on collisions while driving north in the southbound lane of Highway 83.
In Minot, the vehicle drove more than twice the speed limit, at one point going 90 mph in a 40 mph zone. It used turning lanes to pass vehicles that had to abruptly move to the side and drove backward in a roundabout.
It also drove into a snowbank, spun in circles in a downtown parking lot and struck two unattended cars before hitting McLean County Deputy Alexander Torrez’s patrol vehicle. Torrez shot once at the SUV through the patrol vehicle's closed driver door window as the stolen vehicle rammed the officer’s vehicle.
The SUV then hit and disabled McLean County Deputy Coy Sayler’s and Ward County Deputy Jacob Hawkins’ vehicles. Sayler told investigators his knees were injured when Chambers rammed his vehicle to the point that he was walking with a limp. X-rays showed no bones were broken.
The stolen vehicle kept going and hit a street sign, street light support pole, building, a planter and other objects.
The SUV didn’t stop until Torrez used his damaged vehicle to hit it near Third Street Southeast and First Avenue Southeast. The second crash involving Torrez's vehicle disabled both the deputy's vehicle and the SUV.
Two passengers, identified as 32-year-old Justyn Smith and Ajarius Hamilton, 20, allegedly fled from the vehicle, despite Torrez’s commands to stop, the complaint said. The two were captured by deputies and could face charges of refusal to halt and possessing marijuana, according to a news release.
Smith and Hamilton had not been charged as of Monday afternoon.
Chambers and a female passenger were taken into custody from the SUV, the complaint said. The girl complained of foot pain, and medical staff had to remove a bullet from her foot at Trinity Hospital, according to the complaint.
Chambers was cleared by medical staff and was taken to the Ward County Jail, the complaint said. The complaint and news release do not name any injuries to Chambers.
Law enforcement found Chambers had a baggie of meth in his shoe, according to the complaint.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation is investigating the shots fired by the officers, the release said. Ward County Capt. Jason Kraft said he couldn’t comment on any internal investigations, including decisions to continue the pursuit into Minot.
Chambers made light of the charges filed against him while in the Ward County Jail, a correctional officer said in the complaint. He bragged to inmates that he “almost killed a deputy” and stole fuel from a gas station, according to court documents. He also allegedly made comments of attacking deputies in jail, the complaint said.
Court records did not list an attorney for Chambers. It’s unclear when he will appear in court.