A 23-year-old California man was charged with theft and criminal mischief last week after he destroyed a telephone handset he borrowed from a gift shop at the airport in Belgrade.

According to court documents, the man was kicked off an Alaska/Horizon airplane and banned from the flight because he refused to wear a face mask.

The man then borrowed a wireless handset phone from the gift store near the boarding gate and returned a similar handset he had borrowed from the shop’s other location in a different part of the airport.

The man went into the men’s restroom next to the boarding area shop. The store clerk heard a loud smashing sound coming from inside the bathroom. When the man emerged, he did not have the handset, so the clerk began to look for it.

A few minutes later, the man reached over the counter at the store and took another handset without permission. He turned it in at the first store as if it were the first handset he borrowed. The handsets used at the two shops are identical in color and model, according to the report.

An airport officer detained the man while a second officer went into the bathroom, where he found pieces of the broken phone on the floor, on the counter, and in the garbage can near the door. The officer then learned the man had been banned from the Horizon flight, shortly after which he asked to borrow the second handset with the intention of returning it to the first store.

The man was transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was cited for theft and criminal mischief and held on $1,170 bond.


A 45-year-old Belgrade woman who admitted she had consumed “a lot of alcohol” before driving on Amsterdam Road Sunday was charged with DUI after almost causing an accident and nearly driving off the road three times, according to court records.

A Montana Highway Patrol trooper responded to a report from a caller who said the woman was driving recklessly in an Acura near mile marker 3, where she had almost hit the caller’s vehicle head on then drove off the road three times.

After the trooper stopped the woman’s car, he noted she was extremely upset, had watery eyes, was unsteady on her feet, and smelled of alcoholic beverage. She told him she had consumed “a lot” of alcohol.

After nearly falling over as she performed field sobriety tests, the woman provided a preliminary breath sample that measured her breath alcohol content at .223 percent. She agreed to provide a blood sample, which was drawn at the hospital in Bozeman.

The woman was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where she was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, first offense, and held on $685 bond.


A Bozeman man was charged with felony DUI after he was stopped for driving without proper illumination of his rear license plate on Jackrabbit Lane Monday night.

According to court records, a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy on routine patrol noticed the man’s car traveling northbound on Jackrabbit just before 10 p.m. The license plate was not illuminated well enough to be visible from a distance of 50 feet, a violation of state law.

The deputy stopped the car at the intersection of Jackrabbit and Baxter lanes. Upon approaching the car, he immediately noticed a box of Bud Light Platinum in the back seat, a container of Twisted Tea under the passenger seat, a container of Bud Light Platinum on the passenger floor and the strong odor of alcoholic beverage emanating from inside the vehicle.

The driver, 43-year-old Kyle Hessler of Bozeman, said he had just pulled out of a bar, where he “had a drink and was going to go down to the Friendly to have another drink.” Dispatchers informed the deputy that Hessler’s driver’s license was suspended.

Hessler agreed to perform standard field sobriety tests, the results of which indicated he was impaired by alcohol consumption. He refused to provide breath or blood samples, but the officer was granted a telephonic search warrant for a blood draw, which was taken at the hospital in Bozeman.

Hessler was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, fourth offense, a felony. A records check revealed he had been convicted of DUI in 2002, 2004 and 2019. He was held at the jail without bond.


An argument that started in the parking lot of the Grantree Conoco in Bozeman Sunday evening ended with the arrest of a 22-year-old Belgrade man accused of threatening to settle the dispute with a gun.

According to court records, a woman called authorities to report her boyfriend had just been threatened by the driver of a silver BMW after the two argued in the Conoco parking lot earlier in the night. That incident had escalated into an exchange of vulgar hand signals, after which her boyfriend had gone to a friend’s house on West Oak Street, where he intended to help work on the friend’s car and have a few beers.

Upon his arrival at the friend’s house, the man said, the driver of the BMW drove up and slid to a stop just a few feet from his girlfriend before driving off. The man said he angrily pursued the car on foot, at which point the driver stopped the car, got out and pointed a gun at him, and threatened to shoot. The driver then got back into the car and drove away without firing the weapon.

Several witnesses told the officer they recognized the car and the suspect. As the interviews were being conducted, another Bozeman police officer located the BMW a few blocks away, where he interviewed the driver and two passengers.

The three gave their version of the confrontation in the Conoco parking lot, which they said they started because they were angry with the man for driving too fast through the Days Inn parking lot on his way to the gas station. They said they followed him in his vehicle after he flipped them off.

Based on interviews and physical evidence, the BMW driver was arrested and taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with assault with a weapon and held without bond. A Bersa .380 handgun was taken from his vehicle and secured as evidence.


A 26-year-old Belgrade man was jailed on multiple charges Sunday after punching a 64-year-old woman in the face on Dry Creek School Road, 

according to court records.

Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputies responded to a call from the woman, who said she was assaulted by a man who was driving a four-wheeler near her property. She said she saw the man driving the vehicle at a high rate of speed and doing donuts on the dirt road. When she saw the four-wheeler stopped near her residence, she went to ask the man not to drive “so crazy” on the road. As she approached, she asked him to get off his phone. At first he ignored her, but then he began to swear at her. The report states he got off his phone, threatened to assault the woman, then shoved her in the chest with both hands, nearly knocking her to the ground. The woman told him not to touch her again, but he continued to swear at the woman, then punched her in the left side of her face, knocking her to the ground.

The woman’s boyfriend said he went to check on her when he heard yelling coming from down the road. He saw the driver of the four-wheeler standing over the woman, who was lying on the ground, so he fired a single warning shot from his 9 mm pistol away from the parties.

The deputy noticed a number of “burn out marks” around blind corners on the dirt road, consistent with the woman’s description of events. He interviewed a fisherman in the area, who said he drove down the road while the woman was on the ground. The man said he had spoken with two other fishermen who reported hearing a single gunshot.

Deputies interviewed the man who had been driving the four-wheeler. He said he was driving the vehicle down the dirt road, when he decided to turn around and call his mother to ask what was for dinner. While he was on the phone, he said, a woman came up to him and started yelling, and then he heard “bullets flying over his head.” He said he saw the woman’s boyfriend holding a rifle, so he punched the woman in the face and drove away to escape the gunfire.

Based on the tire marks in the road, marks on the woman’s face and arm, the pistol turned over by her boyfriend and the statements from fishermen in the area at the time of the incident, the deputy concluded there was probable cause to arrest the four-wheeling suspect.

He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with assault, reckless driving, criminal possession of dangerous drugs, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia. He was held on $1,940 bond. A check of the man’s criminal history revealed a previous conviction for misdemeanor possession of dangerous drugs in 2016.


A 33-year-old Belgrade man was charged with driving under the influence alcohol on Jackrabbit Lane Sunday night.

According to court records, a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy on routine patrol noticed a Subaru traveling northbound above the speed limit near the intersection of Jackrabbit and East Valley Center Road. As the deputy followed the vehicle, he noticed it was traveling between 70 and 75 mph in a 65 mph zone, and that it was weaving within its lane of travel. The deputy attempted to stop the Subaru at the intersection of Jackrabbit and Pollywog lanes, but the Subaru’s driver continued to travel northbound for about a quarter of a mile before eventually coming to a stop near the intersection of Jackrabbit and Frank Road.

The report states the driver’s eyes were red and watery, his speech was slurred, and there the odor of alcoholic beverage coming from inside the vehicle. The man said he was straddling the center white line because “the guy behind me was messing with me.” The deputy noted that no other vehicles had been in the vicinity of the Subaru on that stretch of road.

The driver was unable to locate his registration or insurance card, but denied he had used any alcohol or drugs that evening. When the driver began to perform field sobriety tests, the deputy noticed he was swaying and that his breath smelled of alcohol.

During a search of the man’s car, the deputy found an open bottle of McCormick vodka that was three-quarters empty.

The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he refused to provide a breath sample. He was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, first offense, and held on $685 bond.


A 46-year-old Three Forks man who threatened to pistol whip his roommate was jailed and charged with assault Tuesday night.

According to court records, the man’s roommate called authorities to report she was locked in a room for her own protection, describing the man’s behavior as “psycho.” Officers from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s office and Manhattan Police Department responded.

The man was on the front porch of the residence when authorities arrived. He said he had been trying to get the woman to move out of his house for weeks, and when he came from the bar earlier in the evening, they had another conversation about her moving out. He said he became angry and threw his phone at the wall, after which the woman yelled at him to go ahead and hit her. He said he picked up a .357 revolver he keeps in his nightstand and said, “If I’m going to hit you, it will be with this.” He said he was holding the gun in his hand, pointing it at the ceiling as he spoke. He refused to allow officers to retrieve the gun from the home.

The woman told officers she has lived in the home for nearly three years, and that her roommate’s behavior toward her has become increasingly violent. She said he recently has begun breaking items in the house when drinking. That night, she said, he had come home and demanded that she leave the home. As the argument escalated, she said, he threw his phone and was screaming and cursing at her. The woman said she called her ex-husband because she was frightened, and while   she was on the phone, the man grabbed a gun, pointed it at her, and told her to leave. She said she feared for her life, so retreated to her bedroom, where she took out her own guns and called 911.

The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with assault with a weapon and held without bond.


An argument between a Belgrade couple ended with the man’s arrest after an argument between the two turned into a physical fight.

According to court records, the 26-year-old man became angry after his girlfriend woke him up from a nap he was taking in the passenger seat of the car she was driving on Amsterdam Road near River Rock subdivision. The woman said she stopped the car on Thorpe Road, where the couple got out of the car and the man threw her to the ground where she scraped her leg. A physical fight continued for a few moments, after which the man attempted to flag down another motorist for a ride. Failing to do so, he got back into the woman’s car, and she drove to the Town Pump on West Jefferson Street, where the argument continued. The man got out of the car, so the woman locked the door, after which the man broke the front passenger window with a beer bottle and punched a hole through the glass in order to unlock the door. He then went to the Belgrade Police Department to explain what had happened.

Officers tending to the nearly hysterical woman noticed multiple scrapes and dried blood on her shin. They examined the damage to the vehicle’s passenger window and noted a broken beer bottle on the ground next to the car.

The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with partner or family member assault, first offense, and criminal mischief. He was issued a 72-hour no contact order, held without bond, and served with an outstanding no-bond federal warrant.