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Lake County officers searching for man who fled after car chase

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The Lake County Sheriff's Office is searching for a man who fled on foot following a vehicle chase after he allegedly pointed a laser at the chest of a deputy who was leaving his home to start work early Sunday morning.

According to a news release from the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the deputy was walking to his marked LCSO vehicle at his Ronan area home around 5 a.m. to start his work shift when he saw a red laser dot on his chest. The officer, who thought he was about to be shot, sought cover and saw the laser was coming from another vehicle at the end of his driveway.

The deputy, as well as other LCSO officers and Flathead Tribal Police, chased the car for about 10 minutes, reaching speeds of 80 miles per hour, until the chase ended near Pablo on the frontage road near Montana Highway 93.

When the chase ended, the driver of the vehicle, identified as Marlo Albia Tonasket, fled the scene on foot.

One of the passengers of the car, Matthew Manyhides of Polson, was arrested on outstanding warrants for felony possession of dangerous drugs and driving under the influence.

A woman passenger was taken into custody for questioning, but was released without charges. Officers obtained a search warrant and are searching the vehicle, but still do not know if the red dot came from a laser pointer or a firearm, according to Lake County Undersheriff Ben Woods.

Tonasket, 36, is described as a 5-feet-11-inch Native American man weighing 180 pounds with brown eyes and brown hair. He has a warrant for his arrest on a charge of possession of stolen property in Shoshone County, Idaho.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office warned the public to avoid contacting Tonasket if he is seen, but to contact authorities immediately.

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