Man arrested after driving around area schools

Updated 4:50 p.m. Sept. 14

Great Falls Police Department officers were dispatched around 12:30 p.m. Sept. 11 to a report of a suspicious person near Holy Spirit Catholic School at 2820 Central Ave.

GFPD said Sept. 14 that they initially posted seeking information about the man involved, but “there have been legitimate threats and acts of furtherance towards the arrested suspect, his home, his family and the vehicle associated” with the post. “We must not forget that all persons charged with a crime in our city, and throughout our country, are innocent until proven guilty, beyond a reasonable doubt. Although he was arrested and charged, those are merely allegations, until proven guilty.”

GFPD said that “all incidents of threats, violence, or property damage will be investigated and criminal charges brought forward. In fact, retaliatory incidents in events such as this can prove problematic to the prosecution of the original charges.”

The initial Sept. 11 complaint to GFPD involved a man driving slowly through the school area, causing concern, and staff told police that they’d heard from students that the same man, in the same vehicle, had been seen on previous dates and times and different schools, according to GFPD.

A school employee took a photo of the drive and the vehicle, a 2007 silver Chevrolet Silverado.

The responding officers contacts the male, identified as Alan Whitmire, 60, who is a Great Falls resident with “no legitimate business near any school properties,” according to GFPD.

Parents of Great Falls Public Schools students told The Electric that they’ve seen him or heard reports of him around at least one public elementary school.

Around 12:45 p.m. Sept. 12, dispatched received another complaint about Whitmire driving the same vehicle in the area of Holy Spirit. During that report, dispatchers were told that Whitmire had confronted the employee who took his photo the previous day, according to GFPD.

Whitmire Truck

Officers investigated further and the school resource officer assigned to Great Falls High located Whitmire a short time later when he was arrested on misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and stalking, according to GFPD.

“GFPD has no information that Whitmire has had close contact with any school children. It is believed he has been driving around schools throughout Great Falls, in a vehicle that is easily recognizable and possibly playing children’s type music loudly. Officers learned some children refer to Whitmire’s vehicle as the ‘Bigfoot’ truck, because it has two stickers of a Bigfoot silhouette on the tailgate,” according to GFPD.

If community members have suspicious activity to report involving Whitmire or his vehicle, they are asked to contact Det. Brett Munkres at 406-455-8509.