CASPER, Wyo. — A child is in protective custody and two men are facing misdemeanor charges following a confrontation that led to multiple vehicle crashes on Casper’s east side Wednesday evening.
Part of the incident captured on cell phone footage shows “a wild display of reckless and careless acts from all parties involved,” according to a Casper police officer’s affidavit.
Names are being withheld at this time to protect the identity of family members.
Officers responded around 7:00 pm to multiple reports of a man driving erratically with the girl in lap while attempting to flee the scene of multiple crashes.
According to the report, a woman was trying to stop her estranged husband from taking their daughter, who is four or five, to Colorado. The woman, along members of her family and her 29-year-old boyfriend, were in two vehicles and pursuing the husband and daughter, who were in a truck towing a camper.
They all parked in the east side Menards parking lot shortly before 7:00 pm
The woman reportedly took her daughter out of the truck and the husband got out to take the daughter back. When the husband got out of the truck, his right arm was impacted by an SUV driven by the woman’s boyfriend, as stated by multiple parties and seen in footage reviewed by an officer.
The husband then retrieved the daughter, got back in the truck, and reportedly drove off at a high rate of speed while the woman was nearly halfway through the truck’s passenger window, according to multiple parties.
Police say the boyfriend then rammed the camper of the husband’s truck to prevent him from leaving. The boyfriend then rear-ended the camper at the stop sign exiting the parking lot, later telling police the accelerator had become stuck to the floor. The affidavit indicates the boyfriend’s SUV also struck an unrelated vehicle.
Multiple parties report the husband then drove east on Second Street before turning left onto Coliseum Way, where he says a truck pulled out in front of him. He told police he tried to brake before rear-ending the truck. He then ran into Fire Rock with the daughter and told people to call 911.
The cell phone footage was captured my members of the wife’s family. Officers are reviewing security footage from the store.
Both the husband and the boyfriend appeared in Circuit Court Thursday by video from separate locations. The husband faces a charge of reckless driving and child endangerment. The boyfriend faces charges of reckless driving and having no proof of insurance.
Both men pleaded not guilty and bond for both was set at $750 cash or surety.
The daughter was placed into the custody of the Department of Family Services. The wife, 34, is facing unrelated felony drug charges.
Child endangerment is punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine up to $5,000.00 (WS 6-4-405)
Reckless endangerment is a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for not more than one (1) year (WS 6-2-504)