A Belgrade man is accused of firing a round from his gun at the ground to get a suspected trespasser to stop running from him.
Ralph Dennis, 54, is charged with felony assault with a weapon. He appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court before acting judge Miranda Johnson who set his bail at $25,000.
On Dec. 30, a Belgrade officer responded to a report of a gunshot on Jackrabbit Lane near Frank Road.
The officer met Dennis near there and took him to the Belgrade Police Department for questioning.
Dennis told police his wife saw a man trespassing on their property on Jackrabbit Lane. Dennis then went looking for him.
Dennis found the man near the Mr. Burrito trailer and told him he was under “citizen’s arrest” for trespassing onto his property, court documents say. He said the man then ran across Jackrabbit Lane and headed north.
Dennis said he fired a round from his gun into the ground after he was unable to catch the man, court documents say. He then jumped back into his car to look for the man but was unsuccessful.
Dennis told police he fired his gun because he wanted the man to stop.
The victim told police that he was walking and singing when Dennis approached him in a truck. Dennis identified himself as an officer to the man, court documents say. The man said he ran from Dennis because he didn’t think Dennis looked like an officer.
The victim told police he heard the gunshot and believed that Dennis was shooting at him, court documents say. He said he ran into Wendy’s on Jackrabbit Lane and refused to leave the restaurant until officers arrived because he was scared.