A Manhattan man, 33, was taken into protective custody July 13 at 11 p.m. after a concerned family member called the sheriff. When the deputy arrived at the house, he found the man outside "fighting a demon." He had been using an axe and hammer to flatten a piece of silver to "put over his third eye" on his forehead, because the devil was trying to get him.

He admitted that voices in his head had been telling him to kill himself and that the voices told him to burn down the 5G network towers in the mountains.

Concerned about the man’s mental state, the deputy told him he either needed to go to the Bozeman hospital or the Crisis House. When the man nixed both options, he was instead handcuffed and jailed for resisting arrest.


Yo quiero Taco Bell!!

An apparently drunk would-be customer passed out in the drive-thru lane of the Belgrade Taco Bell on July 16. Belgrade police were called at 10:41 p.m. to move him out of the drive-thru lane. When the officer approached the car, its engine was running, the headlights were on, and the driver was breathing but unconscious. When John Edward Lopez, 40, of Billings came to, he thought he had just left Taco Bell, acted antagonistically, and refused a breath test. He was taken to the hospital when a warrant was granted for a blood alcohol test. He was arrested for fifth-offense DUI.


At midnight on July 14, a resident on Little Holland Road reported hearing a man and woman fighting and then seeing a dark Chevy truck with distinctive personalized plates fleeing down Norris Road. A minute later, a deputy saw the truck and pulled it over. The male passenger appeared heavily intoxicated, although he was on probation and forbidden to drink. The female driver performed some field sobriety tests, refused others, and also refused to permit a blood alcohol test. She was arrested for first-offense DUI.

Her boyfriend and passenger Chet Norman Anderson, 43, was arrested for drinking while on probation.


A Manhattan police officer recognized a local man riding a scooter as having an active warrant out of Bozeman. According to the cop report, as he was handcuffed, the man unsuccessfully attempted to throw away a cigarette pack containing 3.14 grams of meth. Shane Henderson, 32, was arrested for felony possession of dangerous drugs.


Madison Robert Morningstar, 33, of Virginia City, was arrested for numerous probation violations: possessing ammunition and a knife; having alcohol, heroin and its paraphernalia in his home; and an additional felony charge out of Madison County.


After the first citation, it was all downhill.

A Gallatin County deputy responded to the scene of a July 17 Three Forks rollover crash and discovered that the driver in question was already in custody, courtesy of the Montana Highway Patrol.

Joseph Anthony Gaston, 37, was driving on a suspended Arkansas license and had been at the home of a woman who had a "no contact" order against him. Witnessed ratted him out and told the MHP that Gaston was heavily intoxicated.

When the evening was over, Gaston had racked up eight various charges, including driving while suspended, displaying plates assigned to another vehicle, third-offense DUI, hit-and-run resulting in property damage over $1,000, obstructing a peace officer, seatbelt violation, failure to give notice of an accident, and failure to secure license plates. (One license plate had fallen off; the other was from another vehicle).

After the crash, he was spotted in a field near Interstate 90, and then he swam across the Jefferson River. Eventually detained by Broadwater County deputies, he was taken to the Bozeman Deaconess Hospital, where he refused both field sobriety and blood alcohol tests. A judge authorized the blood draw. Gaston was categorized as swinging from cooperative to confrontational to apologetic and crying.


Colton Don Baertsch, 31, of Helena, was driving south on Jackrabbit Lane then he turned onto East Valley Center Drive. He was stopped by a deputy sheriff after he repeatedly swerved all over his lane. He told the officer he had consumed two beers. He failed his field sobriety tests, refused a breathalyzer, was handcuffed, again refused a breathalyzer and was taken to the hospital for a blood alcohol test. He was charged with fourth-offense DUI.


On July 18, a Gallatin County deputy sheriff handled a violation of a "no contact" order at 50 Big Sky Resort Road in Big Sky. Kristin Cooper, 35, of Bozeman, was charged with violating the mentioned order. She was accused of driving by the protected party numerous times, and she didn't leave until she was on the phone to law enforcement. Cooper is accused of yelling for the protected party's child. She denied driving by the protected party numerous times.

The no-contact order specified she stay 1,000 feet from the other woman; Cooper was arrested.


A tipsy DUI almost tips into the Gallatin River.

An off-duty deputy sheriff reported a possible drunk driver at the intersection of Norris and River roads. A black Honda CRV had stopped on the side of the road but almost tipped over into the river. The 32-year-old driver said she had only had "one or two beers" but failed her field sobriety test. She refused to give a breath test and was arrested for first-offense DUI.


Chona Lacion Valenzuela, 54, of Belgrade, was picked up for probation violations in including refusal to submit to a breathalyzer test, no drinking (she was in the Magic Diamond Casino with a drink), no gambling (she was in the Magic Diamond Casino gambling), and not staying clear of casinos (she was in the Magic Diamond Casino gambling).


Elizabeth Ann Mongeon, 47, of Belgrade, was picked up for the probation violations of no alcohol (she had alcohol) and failure to take a breathalyzer test or provide a urine sample.


Somebody needs a time out.

A 38-year-old Belgrade man was arrested July 15 for felony strangulation of a partner. Earlier, he was accused of breaking the nose of the person in question.

A friend of the victim told police she hadn't been able to reach her friend, so she went over to the friend’s house to check on her. She said she was concerned enough about the man that she carried an open knife with her, walked into the house and saw him straddling her friend, strangling her.

She told a Belgrade police officer she held the knife on the man and yelled at him, and he left. The victim said the man had been "attacking her" at work and calling her all day. When she went home, she left her cell phone in "record" mode in case he came over.

Well, he did.

The recorded phone conversation caught 17 minutes screaming, threats and a lot of four- and five-letter words. While the incident was being recorded, the man repeatedly kicked the victim while he had her on the floor, strangled her five times, threw a lit cigarette at her, and continued to swear and yell the whole time.

He told the woman, "I will ... kill you because you're ... ruining everything." He was recorded telling the victim it was her fault she was being strangled, and "it's for your own selfishness," and eventually, "I won't hurt you anymore, I love you."

The victim told police she thought she was going to die.

The man later declined to return calls from the Belgrade Police Department, but he was eventually arrested and held without bond.


A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy was dispatched to a “disturbance with a weapon call” on July 15 at 6:30 p.m. on Pole Gulch Road in Ponderosa Pines, east of Clarkston. One woman alleged that Matthew Conrad Schmidt, 30, had driven his vehicle toward her at a high rate of speed and then prevented her from leaving Pole Gulch. Schmidt said it was actually the woman who prevented him from leaving the road, and that when he drove toward her it was "only at 35 mph." The deputy noted that tracks in the dirt showed Schmidt had deliberately steered directly at the woman. Video taken during the incident showed the woman’s husband in possession of a gun, but he never pointed it at Schmidt. The deputy's report stated, “It was apparent that the defendant was the primary aggressor and operated his motor vehicle in a manner that created a substantial risk of causing death or serious bodily harm." Schmidt was charged with felony criminal endangerment. and held without bail.


A brother and sister duo kept multiple Gallatin County sheriff deputies busy for hours July 15 at the Mountain Meadow Trailer Court.

It started a 4:48 in the afternoon with a 911 hang-up call from Dawn Campbell, 55, a resident of the mobile home park. John Roger Campbell, 58, her brother, had broken out the windows in her home after she locked him out as an escalation of a daylong, drawn-out, drunken fight. The lockout followed an afternoon of drinking and John Campbell calling the people present a lot of four-letter words that the Belgrade News doesn't commit to print.

John Campbell was issued a disorderly conduct citation; when the deputy started to leave, he heard more noise coming from the front of the house, where he discovered Campbell breaking out even more windows. He was arrested and taken to jail.

Meanwhile, another sheriff's deputy returned to the address at 9:17 p.m. because of a complaint that Dawn Campbell had been yelling in the hours since her brother’s arrest at the other people at the address who were available "to take it out on." After those individuals were interviewed, she was arrested for misdemeanor assault for allegedly spending an afternoon slapping and punching the other people at the address. She had a prior conviction for assault on Oct. 25, 2018, and a pending assault charge from July 1, 2021.


On Tuesday, the Belgrade Police Department served two bench warrants at 2:23 a.m. on Maurice Edward Powers II, 40, of East Helena. The warrants dated back to Jan. 15, 2021 and April 2, 2021, and were issued by the Montana Highway Patrol after an alleged hit-and-run accident. Powers was charged with failure to give notice of an accident (with damage over $1,000), leaving the scene of an accident with damage over $1,000, and negligent endangerment (substantial risk of death or serious injury).

The first warrant references Powers' failure to show up at the Park County jail to be booked. The second warrant accuses him of failure to pay fines and court costs.


Lewis and Clark County issued an arrest warrant for Scot Joseph Brown, currently residing in the Gallatin County jail. The state of Montana, through presiding Judge Mike Menahan, is seeking to revoke the suspended sentence given to Brown on Aug. 1, 2018. He was picked up by a Gallatin County deputy on July 16.