BILLINGS- The man who allegedly drove away from police, crashed into another vehicle and gave a false name has been charged with four felonies and faces up to 42 years in prison, prosecutors stated Wednesday.
Joseph Marion Medina III, 28, also faces up to $162,000 in fines following the incident that started at the downtown Albertsons grocery store, prosecutors said. It ended Monday night with two people, including Medina, being transported to the hospital with minor injuries.
Medina is facing three counts of criminal endangerment and one count of criminal mischief. Each charge is punishable by up to 10 years in prison. He also faces four misdemeanors: two counts of obstructing a police officer, resisting arrest and driving under the influence.
He is being held in the Yellowstone County jail on $202,370 bail.
According to prosecutors, police were called to the Albertsons parking lot to a report of Medina allegedly starting fights.
Once they arrived, Medina drove off in a Dodge Ram, ignored officers’ efforts to pull him over and led them on a chase, prosecutors stated.
On Eighth Avenue North, Medina allegedly tried to cross North 27th Street and T-boned a Ford Edge SUV, then came to a stop in front of Billings Clinic. The driver was taken to the hospital.
Prosecutors said Medina ran south in the hospital’s parking lot, then across the street and into the parking lot of the Home 2 Suites hotel. Two officers gave chase on foot. One pulled his Taser but did not fire, and the other tackled Medina.
Once he was detained, Medina initially gave police the name of another person. He was later properly identified and admitted to drinking a Colt .45 beer before driving but refused a blood draw.
Prosecutors stated that Medina had a previous DUI conviction in 2010. He is facing possible charges in Musselshell County for violating conditions of bail by using alcohol.