Montana woman arrested for driving into religious group; FBI reviewing case

The Billings Police Department said Sunday that a woman has been arrested for driving into a religious group a day prior. Photo courtesy of Billings Police Department/Facebook

Dec. 10 (UPI) -- A 55-year-old Montana woman has been arrested and charged after she deliberately drove her vehicle through a religious group over the weekend, injuring at least one person, authorities said Sunday, as the FBI reviews the case.

The suspect, identified as Genevienne Rancuret, was arrested Saturday at about 2:30 p.m. during a traffic stop in the 700 block of Central Avenue.

She is being held at the Yellowstone County Detention Facility on eight counts of felony assault with a weapon and one count each of felony criminal mischief loss more than $1,500, misdemeanor revocation of suspended or deferred sentence and misdemeanor driving while under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs, first offense, according to court records.

Her arrest was made about two hours after the Billings Police Department responded at about 12:33 p.m. to numerous reports that a vehicle had driven through a religious group gathered at the intersection of 6th Avenue North and North 27th Street.

"The suspect drove at or through the group several times, damaging equipment and striking and injuring a 45-year-old male," Lt. Matt Lennick of the Billings Police Department said in a statement.

Rancuret is then accused of fleeing the scene, and leading police on a short manhunt that resulted in her apprehension during a traffic stop.

Lennick has identified the religious group involved as Israelis for Christ, MTN News reported, and the FBI has requested to examine the case, which currently remains under the review of the Yellow Stone County Attorney's Office.

The alleged crime occurred as incidents of anti-Semitism have skyrocketed in the United States since Israel's war against Hamas in Gaza began on Oct. 7.

According to the Jewish Anti-defamation League, the number of anti-Semitic incidents between Oct. 7 and 23 rose nearly 400 percent compared to the same period last year.