A police pursuit of two stolen all-terrain vehicles driving the wrong way on the interstate near Butte early Thursday led to use of the K-9 unit to find one of the men, Robert Baker, 29.

A motorist called police after seeing two ATVs driving south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 15 on Woodville Hill, south of Elk Park, at about 5:30 a.m. Thursday, police said.

When officers arrived, they could not find the ATVs but reportedly saw headlights east of the interstate. The ATVs turned around and got back onto the roadway, heading south in the southbound lanes, police said. Officers attempted to stop the ATVs, but the ATVs crossed the median and continued south in the northbound lanes, Butte-Silver Bow County Sheriff Ed Lester said.

The ATVs exited at the Continental Drive ramp, crossed the bridge over the interstate, and headed down the wrong way on the exit ramp, according to Lester. The ATV drivers then headed east in the westbound lane.

Police said Baker left the interstate and drove up a hill, reached a fence, and fled on foot. Officers called in the K-9 unit, and the dog found Baker about 500 yards east of the interstate and south of the Continental Drive exit, Lester said.

Police learned that the ATVs were stolen and contacted the owner, who confirmed his ATVs were missing. The second driver remains at large, but the ATV he was driving was recovered in the area of the interchange with Continental Drive, Lester said.

Baker was booked on motor vehicle theft, a felony, plus reckless driving, driving with a suspended license, fleeing from police, and traveling in the wrong direction, all misdemeanors.

Bond has not been set, and the incident remains under investigation.


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