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Two arrested following chase, gunshots in southeast S.D.

MITCHELL, S.D.—Two people were arrested early Wednesday morning, July 11, after shots were fired from one car at another during a chase, authorities said.

Bernard Drapeau, 36, and Malissa Garmong, 27, both of Mitchell, were found at about 3 a.m. in a parking lot near a silver car, which was allegedly involved in the chase. Police believe that shortly after Garmong got into the car with Drapeau, the owner of the silver car, at 2:05 a.m., a silver pickup allegedly hit Garmong's unoccupied car, which was parked nearby. After that, Drapeau and Garmong allegedly drove away, heading east, followed by the pickup.

The pickup, which held one male occupant, was found by police at 2:13 a.m.

During the chase, Drapeau allegedly fired three shots from his car with a .40-caliber handgun, which was later found on the ground near him. No one was injured, and police have not found any property damaged by the gunshots.

"By the grace of God, no one was hurt," Lt. Detective Don Everson said.

At the time of his arrest, a scale with what police believe to be methamphetamine residue on it was found on Drapeau. And a bag containing approximately 2.8 ounces of methamphetamine was found on the ground near Garmong, who allegedly had three bags with five grams or less of methamphetamine in each of them on her person, along with hydrocodone, oxycodone and alprazolam pills.

Mitchell Det. Lt. Don Everson said methamphetamine was likely a large contributing factor in the crime.

"When people are using these drugs or selling these drugs, these are the things that happen," Everson said.

Drapeau has been charged with unauthorized possession of a controlled substance in schedules I or II, aggravated assault, possession of a firearm by a person convicted of a felony drug crime, reckless discharge of a firearm, carrying a concealed pistol without a permit, reckless driving, driving with a suspended driver's license and substitution of license plates.

If convicted, he could face up to 41 years and 30 days in prison and $82,500 in fines.

Garmong, who has no prior criminal record, was arrested on one count of unauthorized possession of a controlled substance in schedules I or II and three counts of unauthorized possession of a controlled substance in schedules III or IV. If convicted, she could spend up to 11 years in prison and be ordered to pay $22,000 in fines.

Drapeau has 25 prior misdemeanor convictions and one prior felony conviction. He has also had charges dismissed for 21 additional misdemeanors and two additional felonies. He has previously been charged for nine assault charges, including simple assault, simple domestic assault, aggravated assault and simple assault against a law enforcement officer, but all charges were either dismissed or reduced.

Mitchell Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

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