Editor's note: This story was updated at noon on August 8 because of the following correction: Police chased Smith through the construction zone on Excelsior Avenue, not on interstates 15-90.
Athena Smith, 32, arrested last Saturday for partner or family member assault after trying to “smudge” a man at a Kia dealership, got thrown into jail again Tuesday night for allegedly hurting some teenagers behind the Big M.
George Skuletich, Butte-Silver Bow County undersheriff, said the county district attorney’s office is considering the charges against Smith for her latest alleged incident, but police arrested her for violation of release condition, a felony, which does not allow her to pay a bond and get out of jail.
According to Skuletich, Smith struck a couple of parked cars behind the Big M at about 10 p.m. Tuesday and, in the process, may have struck a couple of teenagers. Skuletich said Smith appeared to be “very high,” and officers believe she had taken methamphetamine.
She allegedly drove erratically around the parking lot waving a stick of burning sage.
After the incident behind the Big M, Smith allegedly fled police on a high-speed pursuit through the west side of town and drove through a construction area on Excelsior Avenue in excess of 60 miles per hour before police stopped the car.
Police arrested Smith on Saturday because she walked into the lobby of the Kia car dealership with burning grass and tried to “smudge” a man in an apparent Native American ritual.
Smudging is a common Native American ritual in which smoke is used to cleanse the mind, body, and spirit.
A worker at the Kia dealership had to stamp out small flames and ashes that landed on the carpet, according to police. Police arrested Smith in connection with the Saturday incident on a complaint of partner or family member assault. If prosecutors file formal charges, it could be a felony because she has two previous convictions for the offense, police say.
Smith was still in jail as of late Monday, but she posted bond soon after.