Casper Detectives Arrest Man Following Tuesday Police Chase
A Casper man was arrested Wednesday morning after he reportedly ignored an officer's commands to stop and led law enforcement on a chase through Casper the evening prior.
Bruce Lee Gothard was booked into jail on recommended charges of eluding law enforcement, reckless driving and reckless endangering. He will likely make his initial appearance in Natrona County Circuit Court at 2 p.m. Wednesday.
According to an affidavit of probable cause, two Casper police officers responded to the Backdoor Lounge at 7:45 p.m. Tuesday for a report of a drunken driver. A white truck was reported to have been driving "all over the road," nearly hitting several vehicles.
Officers identified the white 2008 Dodge pickup, which was parked in the east parking log, by a sticker which read, "Crown Construction" on the door panel. One officer found that the truck was owned by Gothard, and a previous booking photo of Gothard was found in the police computer system.
The officer then saw Gothard walk out of the establishment and head toward the pickup truck. Gothard reportedly ignored the officer's efforts to get his attention. Gothard got into the truck and drove off, ignoring the officer's commands to stop.
The officer ran back to his patrol vehicle and gave chase north on Cedar Street, with Gothard traveling through a residential area at a high rate of speed. At one point, on West Collins Drive, Gothard allegedly traveled in excess of 80 mph in a 30-mph speed zone.
Gothard "displayed complete disregard for the well-being and safety of the citizens of the community," and the officer terminated the pursuit. Still, Gothard reportedly continued driving at over 80 mph on Collins, running stop signs.
Law enforcement checked two known addresses for Gothard that night, but did not find him.
Two detectives found Gothard at the Loaf N Jug located at Salt Creek and Wardwell at roughly 8 a.m. Wednesday as Gothard fueled his truck. Gothard was arrested, and the detectives noted the odor of an alcoholic beverage on his breath.