A 22-year-old man who took didn’t take kindly to being asked to vacate a parking space was charged July 31 for assault with a weapon after he pointed a pistol at another man at a Zoot Way business.

According to court documents, the business owner contacted authorities after leaving a note on the windshield of a car that was parked without authorization in a space reserved for his use. He told a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy that he saw the owner of the car remove the note from the windshield, then crumple it up and throw it on the ground. The man who left the note began to approach the car’s owner to ask him to park on the other side of the parking lot, but the man leaned into his car, grabbed a pistol, walked around his car, pointed the gun in the face of the complainant and told him to get away from his vehicle. The complainant put up his hands and walked back to his business. He told the deputy he was fearful for his own safety, as well as for that of his wife and child who were inside the business.

A witness working near the scene corroborated the complainant’s story, and said he had seen the pistol-wielding man drive away in his car.

A fourth man who was cleaning windows in the area told the deputy that he worked with the car’s owner, whose name he provided. He also gave the deputy the contact information for their boss. The deputy contacted the manager of the window-cleaning business and explained what had happened. The manager said the employee who had pointed the pistol had contacted him and told him what happened, saying that he had felt threatened when he was approached. The manager said his employee told him that he “could be a hot head if his buttons were pushed.” He gave the deputy the man’s contact information.

The deputy called the man with the pistol, who agreed to be interviewed at the Law and Justice Center in Bozeman. There, the man invoked his Miranda rights, was cited for assault with a weapon, and was booked into the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was held without bond.


A 29-year-old Deer Lodge man who was stopped by police because his car windows were too dark was arrested on drug charges Saturday after the highway patrolman saw drug paraphernalia in his car.

According to court records, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper noticed the extra-dark windows on a Volkswagen Jetta traveling westbound on Interstate 90 near Belgrade Saturday night around 8:15. The trooper stopped the car, and measured the light transmittance on the front and side windows of the Jetta as only 5 percent. The allowable limit is 24 percent.

The driver produced a Montana identification card, but did not have a valid driver’s license. There were alerts on the driver’s criminal history for previous drug arrests, and he was on probation with the Montana Department of Corrections. The trooper noticed a digital scale between the front seat and console, and a micro torch in the console, both indicators of drug activity.

A drug-detecting K-9 indicated positive for the odor of dangerous drugs. A probation search was authorized and conducted, yielding a digital scale with white-colored residue present on the weighing pan, which tested presumptively positive for methamphetamine. A hide-a-can was located on the right front floorboard, which contained 14.5 grams of apparent methamphetamine, 2.1 grams of cocaine, 4.1 grams of unidentified white powder, and 19 jeweler bags of the type commonly used to package and distribute illegal drugs. Suspected methamphetamine and cocaine field-tested positive for the respective substances.

The driver was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center. He was cited for driving without a valid driver’s license, and charged with criminal possession of dangerous drugs with intent to distribute and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.


A 59-year-old Belgrade woman was charged Tuesday with assaulting her wheelchair-bound husband after the couple’s daughter notified authorities that her 17-year-old daughter had witnessed the incident on Monday night, according to court records.

A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to the couple’s home Tuesday afternoon to conduct a welfare check. The deputy spoke with the couple’s daughter, who said her child and a friend from school had seen her mother hit the man in the face two times after becoming intoxicated.

The man confirmed that his granddaughter and a friend from school had been staying at the home for about a week. He said that his wife begin yelling at the girls for being “messy and disrespectful” on Monday night, after she had consumed eight or nine beers. The man said he told his wife to “shut up,” and that she had slapped him and struck him in the face two times during the altercation.

Asked whether he had the ability to defend himself, the man – who is paralyzed from the chest down and weighs approximately 145 pounds – said that when his 295-pound wife starts a physical altercation, his evasive maneuvers are limited by the speed of his wheelchair and available space. The couple’s daughter told the deputy that she had called police on a prior occasion, when she found her mother sitting on her father with a pillow near his face after she had threatened to suffocate him.

The deputy took a statement from the man’s wife, who admitted striking her husband twice in the face. She said she was intoxicated and upset about the recent death of her son, as well as by the “disrespectful” behavior and untidiness of her granddaughter and her friend. She said she had hit her husband because he had cursed at her. She admitted to having consumed eight beers and one glass of wine.

The woman was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where she was charged with partner/family member assault and held without bond.


A Manhattan woman was charged with partner/family member assault last Friday after becoming violent with her 16-year-old daughter, according to court records.

The report states that the 34-year-old mother and the daughter were arguing, and the altercation became physical as it moved from room to room of the house. The daughter told a responding Manhattan Police officer that her mother pushed her, so she ran into the mud room of their home to try to escape. The daughter told the officer that her mother opened the door to the mud room, grabbed her by the neck, and slammed 

her against a wall. The daughter stated that she took swings at her mother to try to break free, and tried again to escape. She said her mother then slammed her into the refrigerator and threw her onto the floor, grabbed her hair, sat on top of her and “kept hitting my head on the floor.” Once again, according to the report, she tried to escape and her mother threw her on the floor, causing the daughter to hit her head on the coffee table in the living room. The daughter said that her mother was pulling her hair and choking her, and in turn, she was hitting her mother to get her off of her. She showed the officer her neck, which had a vertical red mark on it, and said that she experienced trouble breathing while she was being choked.

The mother then told the officer that her daughter took several swings at her. She said she had put her daughter on the ground to prevent her daughter from hitting her, after which she grabbed the girl and put her against the wall. The mother said that after she prevented her daughter from trying to leave the house, her daughter lunged at her and hit her twice in the jaw. She admitted to putting her daughter on the ground several times while pulling her hair, during which time the daughter was biting her. The mother said, “I did not choke her out,” though she did say that she put her daughter against the wall and had hold of her throat because her daughter was flailing, but added that she did not put pressure on the girl’s throat. She said her daughter, while on the ground, pulled her hair and bit her, so she “smashed” the girl’s head and face into the ground to stop her.

The officer then interviewed two witnesses – the mother’s 10-year-old daughter and one of the mother’s friends. The friend stated that she heard an argument break out between her friend and the 16-year-old, and when the girl tried to leave, she “smacked” her mother, after which the mother pinned her daughter to the ground. The friend said she wasn’t sure what happened after that, but that the girl had hit her mother a couple of times, and that the mother had only sat on the girl. She said she did not see the older woman hit the girl’s head on the floor.

The 10-year-old daughter said the older girl was trying to leave the house and that her mother wouldn’t let her. She said that her mother had slammed the 16-year-old on the floor and pulled her hair. She also said, “Mom grabbed her by the throat and drug her up the wall,” according to court documents.

The mother was transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where she was charged and issued a protection order preventing her from contacting her 16-year-old daughter. She was held without bond.