Man Pulls a Gun During a Road Rage Incident in Missoula
Just before 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, Missoula Police Department Officers responded to a road-rage incident. The complainant said a male driving a red Ford F-150 pulled a gun on him while he was parked at a casino in the 600 block of SW Higgins Avenue. The complainant told the officer he was driving near the intersection of Hillview and Russell when he noticed an F-150 following him very closely.
The complainant thought he might know the male driver, so he flashed him a “peace” sign. The complainant then pulled into the parking lot of the casino. The F-150 followed him and parked nearby. The complainant opened his door and began exiting his vehicle when he observed the male standing outside of the F-150 with a gun in his hand.
According to court documents, the male pointed the gun at the complainant. The complainant asked the male if they knew each other. The male called the complainant an “asshole” and said the complainant was driving poorly.
The complainant said he cursed at the male and then drove away. The male followed the complainant out of the parking lot and down the street. At one point, the male rolled down his window and stuck his arm out while brandishing the gun and pointing it in the complainant’s direction. The complainant said this happened on two separate occasions. The complainant eventually lost the F-150 and pulled over to wait for law enforcement.
Meanwhile, other officers located the F-150 and initiated a traffic stop. The officers ordered the driver, 42-year-old Beau Rocheleau, to exit the vehicle. They took him into custody without incident. At this time, an officer observed a black handgun protruding from the driver’s-side door compartment of the F-150. Rocheleau denied ever showing the complainant his gun.
The officer also noticed that Rocheleau’s eyes were glassy and bloodshot and that his speech was slurred. The officer has talked to Rocheleau in the past multiple times and knows that this is not Rocheleau’s normal speech pattern. Every so often, the officer also smelled a faint odor of alcohol emanating from Rocheleau, but it was hard to detect given the below-freezing temperatures.
The officer arrested Rocheleau, and he was transported to jail by another officer. During the drive, that officer noticed the odor of alcohol inside his patrol car growing much stronger. He described it as “overpowering.” He asked Rocheleau to provide a breath sample and Rocheleau refused. Rocheleau admitted, however, to consuming four beers that day. Rocheleau has a prior DUI from 2008, so the officer applied for a blood warrant. After obtaining a blood sample at the hospital, Rocheleau was remanded to custody.
Rocheleau is currently being charged felony attempted assault with a weapon and driving under the influence.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.