Sep. 14—MURDO, S.D. — A Minnesota man has been charged with allegedly attempting to commandeer a van using a stolen pistol during an August car chase through Jones County that topped speeds of 100 mph.
Montique Rinaldo Bickham Jr., 28, of Mankato, Minnesota, could be facing up to 50 years in South Dakota prison and $50,000 in fines, if convicted for a Class 2 felony charge of attempting to commit a felony with a firearm. It’s the most severe of the 11 counts he’s being charged with.
He’s scheduled for an arraignment on Oct. 16.
At around 12:45 p.m. on Aug. 11, Jones County law enforcement alleges that Bickham took off down State Highway 248 East from a Murdo towing business after law enforcement pulled into tow company’s yard to investigate a burglary. What ensued was a high-speed half-hour long car chase that began on the highway and wound its way through the town of Draper at 105 mph.
Bickham turned north onto U.S. Highway 83 and drove in the southbound lanes, “trying to hit other southbound vehicles,” court documents indicate. After driving into a ditch after nearly colliding with a semi-truck, the car turned south with law enforcement chasing behind before crashing through the median and again turning north.
Officers then noticed a black van pulled over roadside, whose driver was forced out at gunpoint — a statement corroborated in court documents by multiple 911 calls — after “the driver stated the suspect … point[ed] a gun at her son’s head and told her to get out.” Bickham then allegedly fled after law enforcement showed up, leaving the van and its occupants in his wake.
The chase ended after nearly 40 minutes on federal Fort Pierre National Grasslands land, as the car stopped and Bickham exited the vehicle, after previously kicking the female passenger out. He then began to smoke a cigarette while he was being given commands to get on the ground. Two law enforcement personnel then “grabbed the male and assisted him to the ground and placed handcuffs” on Bickham.
In all, Bickham faces 11 counts. In addition to the charge for attempting to commit a felony with a firearm, he will also be charged with two Class 6 felonies — both carry maximum punishments of two years in prison and $4,000 in fines.
One was for the possession of a firearm by a former violent offender; court documents indicate that multiple domestic violence convictions prohibited Bickham from owning a firearm. A Glock 9-millimeter pistol was later found lying on the driver seat, confirmed in court documents to have been stolen out of Iowa.
The other was for aggravated eluding. Bickham’s driver’s license was found to be revoked, court documents indicate.
There were also eight other Class 1 and Class 2 misdemeanor charges. Class 1 misdemeanors, the more severe of the two, carry a maximum sentence of one year in prison and $2,000 in fines.
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