Posted: Jan 8, 2013 11:41 AM by MTN News
MISSOULA - The woman who is accused of running over a Missoula police officer at the McDonald's on East Broadway Monday night is still hospitalized after being shot in the arm by another officer.
Authorities say charges are pending against Dawnette Eaton, 47, who was stopped at the McDonald's on East Broadway around 9 p.m. and was wanted on outstanding warrants and under suspicion for being involved in local drug trafficking.
Eaton is currently on probation, with authorities saying there's a $150,000 warrant for her arrest. She has previous convictions out of Butte Silver Bow, Gallatin and Missoula counties on theft, forgery and drug charges, dating back to 1993.
Missoula County Sheriff's Department spokesman Jason Johnson says Eaton will not be officially charged until she is released from the hospital and taken into custody, which he says is standard procedure.
Detectives and the Missoula County Attorney's Office are working to finalize which charges will be filed, according to Johnson.
He added that Sheriff's Office will be conducting follow up interviews and completing a search of the suspect's vehicle and the apartment where she was located and arrested. Detectives will also spend Tuesday gathering any evidence related to the crime including bloody clothing.
Missoula Police Chief Mark Muir said late Monday that while the unnamed female officer was talking on the driver's side of the car, Eaton gunned the vehicle and took off, dragging the officer underneath. A second officer fired off a single shot, but Eaton escaped.
Scores of officers scoured the area for over 3½ hours after finding Eaton's red Pontiac near the Madison Street Bridge off East Front Street, where they also found a blood trail.
Officers got a break in the search at around 12:30 a.m. when officers followed a tip that led them to an apartment off Hillview Way, where they found Eaton, who was seen being taken on a stretcher into a waiting ambulance.
Muir says the officer who was dragged under the car suffered a broken hip, as well as a leg fracture and other bumps and bruises and is going to be fine. The officer who fired the single shot was uninjured.
The Missoula County Sheriff's Office will be heading up the investigation, which is routine when there is an officer involved shooting. MHP technicians were helping to take measurements and survey the scene of the assault and shooting.