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Second wrong-way driver on interstate within two weeks arrested in Bozeman

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Posted at 12:45 PM, Dec 04, 2023
and last updated 2023-12-05 13:25:41-05

BOZEMAN — Just over a week after a man was arrested in Bozeman for driving the wrong way on Interstate 90, another man is accused of endangering the public by driving the wrong way at the same location.

Jose Paul Yanez Almeida, 32, was arrested early Sunday morning, Dec. 3, 2023, after allegedly driving westbound in the eastbound lanes of I-90 in Bozeman.

Court documents say a deputy with the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office responded just after 3 a.m. on Sunday to the report of a wrong-way driver on I-90 around the 19th Avenue exit at mile marker 305.

The deputy reported that as he was preparing to parallel the vehicle on I-90 at the Jackrabbit interchange near mm 298, Belgrade Police successfully used a tire deflation device to stop Almeida’s vehicle. According to court documents, another Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy reported almost being struck head-on by the vehicle around mm 301 shortly before it was stopped.

yanez almeida.jpeg
Jose Paul Yanez Almeida appears in Gallatin County Justice Court, Dec. 4, 2023.

The reporting deputy said he arrived at the scene, took Almeida into custody, and transported him to the Gallatin County Detention Center. The deputy said Almeida’s performance on field sobriety tests indicated he was under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs.

According to court documents, Almeida refused to provide a breath sample and was arrested before agreeing to provide a blood sample at Bozeman Deaconess Regional Medical Center.

Almeida was taken back to the detention center where he was cited for three counts of criminal endangerment for nearly striking three reporting parties. He was also cited for assault on a peace officer for nearly causing a head-on collision with a sheriff’s deputy.

Almeida appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday, where he was formally charged with the four felony counts. It was revealed in court that Almeida is currently facing an unresolved federal charge of “alien inadmissibility” that must be settled before he can be released on bail.

Almeida’s bail was set at $50,000 and his next court date is set for Dec. 22, 2023.