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Billings men chase drug suspect into awaiting undercover officer

Drug bust vehicle
Posted at 5:13 PM, Dec 28, 2022

BILLINGS - Billings police officers made a drug arrest Tuesday afternoon with the help of some good Samaritans.

When Micah Richardson and Preston Schmidt arrived at work Tuesday, they never would've imagined that they would be playing a huge role in a drug bust. But that is exactly what happened.

“It started out as a normal day, but it didn’t end that way,” Schmidt said.

Richardson owns Eco Clean, a carpet cleaning company in Billings. He and Schmidt were working on a house near Ace Hardware when they heard a car crash into their own.

“Out of the blue, I’m looking at my vehicle outside and a car smashes into the back of it,” Richardson said.

Richardson said the man appeared to be on some type of drug.

“He was unresponsive, but he didn’t look like he was unresponsive because he was injured," Richardson said. "He was tripping."

Richardson called 9-1-1, and as he was on the phone the driver abruptly woke up and tried to flee the accident scene.

“I'm on the phone with 9-1-1, and he just comes to," Richardson said. "He grabbed his coats, some money, and he’s taking off."

Richardson chased the man as long as he could but knew his son-in-law, Schmidt, might have a better chance at tracking him down.

“I haven’t run a marathon in a while, so I wasn’t going to keep up with this guy,” Richardson said.

“When I finally got the machine shut off and everything, I took off after him," Schmidt said. "I told Micah, 'It’s okay. I got him.'”

It turned into a high-speed chase on foot, but this criminal's luck had run out as he ran directly into the hands of an undercover cop.

“If he would’ve ran the opposite direction, then who knows?" Schmidt said. "He could’ve ducked down an alleyway or something and hid it out. Nobody would’ve found him but he ran to the officer unknowingly."

Police arrested 37-year-old Bryce Winder and he faces possible felony drug charges of possession with intent to distribute, something that couldn't have been possible without the help of Richardson and Schmidt.

“You hear hero, but you don’t even think of that," Richardson said. "It’s just a matter of someone doing something they shouldn’t, and us doing our civic duty."

“I’m happy that we're able to get someone, who’s potentially dangerous or doing things in our community that’s not good, off the streets,” Schmidt said.