A fight between brothers at the Madison River Ranch in Three Forks ended with one of them in surgery and the other in jail on Tuesday.

According to court records, the two brothers are employees and residents of the ranch. One of them confronted the other on Tuesday morning about having done some chores improperly. The brother who was being chastised took offense and pushed the other brother, who in turn struck his brother in the face then told a female employee that he had knocked out his brother, who was in need of medical attention. The woman went to render aid, and found the injured man driving toward the ranch headquarters in an ATV. The woman told a responding Gallatin Valley Sheriff’s deputy that she has nursing experience, and could see that the man needed emergent medical care, so she drove him to the hospital in Bozeman.

During an interview with authorities, the injured man said he did not remember how many times he had been struck or exactly what transpired, and that he did not recall driving the ATV back to the ranch headquarters. He said he believed his brother “must” have kicked him or struck him while he was on the ground to have sustained such severe injuries. Questioning was stopped because the man was clearly in a lot of pain; he had emergency surgery later in the day to repair a “completely shattered” lower jaw, according to the report.

Two deputies questioned the first brother, who admitted that he had given his brother “the 1, 2, 3,” which he described as a “right hook, a left hook and a right uppercut.” he said that the three consecutive blows knocked his brother unconscious, but he denied hitting, kicking or striking his brother once he had fallen to the ground. Instead, he said, he went to the ranch house to seek help.

The man was taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center and charged with partner family member assault for purposefully and knowingly instigating a fight and causing serious bodily injury to his brother. He was held without bond.


A Whitehall man was arrested Tuesday and charged with his second animal cruelty charge in as many days after a diner at a Four Corners restaurant interrupted her meal to report that a man was beating a dog in the back of a pickup truck in the restaurant parking lot.

According to court records, authorities were notified that the incident was taking place at the Kountry Korner Kafe at about 4:40 on Tuesday afternoon. The caller said a man was beating his dog in the back of a white pickup truck in the parking lot, and that the dog was cowering in the corner of the truck bed.

A responding Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy interviewed the man, who said that his dog had urinated on his sleeping bag in the back of the truck. He told the deputy that he had rubbed the dog’s nose in the bag, then swatted it several times with a piece of paper. He said he never hit the dog with anything other than the piece of paper, and he demonstrated what he said he had done by unfolding a piece of a paper and swatting the dog with it.

Another deputy examined the dog for injury, noting that the dog was very wary of him and cowered as he approached. At first, he didn’t notice any external signs of injury, but later noticed that the dog was limping and heavily favoring a left leg as it was being walked to a patrol vehicle.

The deputy then interviewed the woman who had reported the incident. She said that she looked out the window while she was eating dinner, and saw the man waving his arms around and yelling at the dog. She said he raised his right arm above his head and hit the dog four times. She said she believed the dog had been hit on the left side of its body, but that it was difficult determine from her angle. She said the man had hit the dog with a closed fist, with strikes similar to a hammer swing. She added that he was “speaking violently” to the dog, and it had turned its head away and cowered in fear.

The man was transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center and charged with cruelty to animals for mistreating, beating and injuring his dog. Records state that the man had been cited the day before for animal cruelty for leaving his dog in his vehicle when the outside temperature was approximately 90 degrees.

The dog was taken to Heart of the Valley.


A disturbance in the Old Town area of Three Forks ended with the arrest of a 21-year-old Arizona man for threatening to shoot a woman and inject her with a syringe on Sunday afternoon.

According to court documents, a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy responded to reports of a disturbance in the vicinity of Old Town Road and Old Town Main Street in Three Forks area at about 4:30 p.m. on July 28. While he was en route, dispatchers informed the deputy that a man had a needle in his hand was threatening to inject a woman with it. They also told the deputy that the man had previously had a gun, but that the woman involved in the incident had taken possession of it.

When he arrived, the deputy interviewed the woman, who said she had driven the man to the Old Town Bridge. As they were nearing the bridge, the woman said, the man began to swear at her and call her names. She told the deputy that she got out of the vehicle because she was afraid for her safety, after which the man got into the driver’s seat and told the woman he would drive. She said he had been becoming increasingly upset, then grabbed a pistol that was in the vehicle and held it to his head. The woman said he told her that if he drew his gun he was going to kill her, and that they both would die there. She told the deputy that she believed the man might shoot her. She said the man grabbed her car keys, injuring her finger in the process, and when she reached to take them back, the man bit her on the arm. She said she grabbed the pistol that was sitting on the front passenger seat and put it in her back pocket. She said she was scared for her life, and began to walk away from the car, at which time the man threw an uncapped syringe at her. She said she picked up the syringe and threw it in the ditch at about the same time she saw her mother arrive, so she got into the mother’s car.

The deputy interviewed the woman’s mother, who said that when she arrived, she had seen the man yelling at her daughter and heard him say he was going to kill her. He said the man had chased after the woman with an uncapped syringe in his hand.

The deputy did not interview the man at the scene, because he said he did not understand his Miranda rights. He was taken to the Gallatin County Detention enter, booked on two counts of 

assault with a weapon, and held without bond. The report states that partner family member assault charges may be levied later.


A 35-year-old Manhattan man was arrested in Belgrade last week for successfully burglarizing one car wash business in Bozeman and attempting to do the same at two other car washes on different nights.

According to court documents, authorities reviewed surveillance footage captured in the middle of the night from Bridger Bubbles on Venture Way, Scrubby’s Car Wash on North 15th, and Eco Joe’s Splash N Go on Competition Drive, all in Bozeman. All three business are equipped with exterior surveillance video, which captured detailed footage at the separate locations on the nights of July 21, 22, and 23. In one case, the man successfully broke into one of the businesses and took cash. At the other two, the video showed a man attempting unsuccessfully to break into the buildings. In all three instances, the man was wearing a Carhartt hoodie, hiking shoes with a distinctive sole, gloves, a baseball hat and dark glasses.

A Bozeman Police officer investigating the crimes sent a county-wide e-mail to other law enforcement agencies asking for tips. On July 24, a Manhattan Police detective provided the name of a possible suspect from that town.

Two days later, the Bozeman officer was in Belgrade on unrelated matters and spotted a man sitting in a parked truck that looked like the one captured on one of the car wash surveillance videos. A Belgrade police officer answered a call for assistance, and identified the driver as the suspect named by the Manhattan detective. When he stepped out of the car, the man was wearing a Carhartt sweatshirt like the one seen on the surveillance videos. When asked to put on his shoes, the man grabbed a pair of hiking shoes that also looked like the ones the worn by the person in the videos. A baseball hat and a pair of glasses were on the dashboard of the car.

The man denied having been involved in any burglaries and when asked about the video evidence, he said he drives a very common vehicle and that he was being profiled. He was transported to the Gallatin County Detention Center, where he was charged with burglary and two counts of attempted burglary. He was held without bond.


A 58-year-old Manhattan woman who crashed her car on Frontage Road between Manhattan and Logan on Saturday evening was booked into the Gallatin County Detention Center for driving under the influence, driving with a suspended license, and for failing to have liability insurance on her vehicle.

According to court documents, a Montana Highway Patrol trooper responded to the scene at about 8:30 pm. on July 27, after the woman crashed her car then got it stuck in a ditch as she attempted to drive away from the scene.

Court papers state that the woman told the trooper that she had consumed approximately five shots of vodka earlier in the evening. The report states that she smelled of alcohol, was unsteady on her feet, exhibited mood swings, performed poorly on various field sobriety tests, and was unable to take some other tests. She also provided a breath sample that measure .163 blood alcohol content.

The woman has two prior convictions for DUI in 1992 and 2008.


A 37-year-old man stands accused of deliberately causing bodily injury to his domestic partner early Monday morning at their Belgrade home.

According to a report filed by the Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy who responded to the call from the injured woman, the man had arrived at the home they share at about 4 a.m. Monday, and he began slapping her saying, “This is how much I love you.” The report states that the woman had redness and swelling around her left eye, several bruises on both upper arms, redness just below her neck, and a bruise just below her jaw. Though she complained of jaw pain on her left side, she refused medical evaluation or treatment.

The woman told the deputy that she had tried to get away from the man, but was unable to escape. She said she yelled for help, and that at one point during the incident he sat on her chest and put his knees on her upper arms, making it difficult for her to breath. The woman was shaky and tearful during the interview, which took place at a neighbor’s home, where the woman had gone when she was able to get free.

The deputy attempted to find the man at the couple’s house, but he had already left and did not respond to telephone calls. The deputy’s report states that there is probably cause to charge the man with parter or family member assault for purposely or knowingly causing bodily injury.


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.