Best of the Police Blotter 2017

A review of some of the most insignificant crimes to rock our community in 2017

By Justin Franz

Crime is no laughing matter.

Like any community, the Flathead Valley has more than its fair share of criminal issues: drug use, property crime, and sometimes even worse. Every day, the valley’s law enforcement agencies deal with serious crimes that have serious impacts.

But every once in awhile, a call comes through dispatch that is a little less serious, such as a herd of cattle wandering through a neighborhood or a “weird guy” at a casino who won’t stop talking about dinosaurs. Those reports are what make up our Police Blotter every week. We hope you enjoy. – Justin Franz

January 3

4:50 p.m. A Kalispell woman called to report that the kitten she saved from the cold a few days ago had turned against her family and bit her child.

January 4

9:09 a.m. A Kalispell man called police because his “soon-to-be ex-girlfriend” was threatening to take his guns.

12:42 p.m. A Kalispell man called police because his “soon-to-be ex-wife” was slandering his good name on Facebook.

January 10

9:52 p.m. A Kalispell resident complained that a big dog was eating all of the food in his front yard. The food is supposed to be for local raccoons.

January 16

6:09 p.m. A television reporter called to ask if anything was going on. The dispatcher said they couldn’t think of anything.

January 19

9:45 a.m. A Kalispell man reported that he had a “plethora” of lost wallets and purses.

January 23

1:57 p.m. Two llamas and two horses were standing in two feet of snow on Two Mile Drive. A local citizen said they looked hungry.

7:41 p.m. A Kila man called to report that his grandson was moving into his house even though he didn’t have permission. As he called, the grandson was already making himself at home by moving things around the living room.

January 24

10:09 a.m. A hungry herd of cows was reported near Niarada.

February 5

11:31 a.m. A Kalispell man said his ex-girlfriend was harassing him by calling upwards of 50 times a day. Police then called the ex and talked to her mother. The mother said she realized her daughter was not handling the breakup well and had taken her cell phone away. But, apparently, before forfeiting the phone to her mother, the ex removed the SIM card and put it in a new phone to keep contacting the man who allegedly broke her heart.

February 7

8:33 p.m. A Whitefish resident called to report that while he was at work, his landlord fixed his door that day and apparently stole some change in the process. But the bigger problem was that the bathroom door inside the apartment was shut and locked. The caller said he was concerned that someone was in the bathroom, even though he couldn’t hear anyone in there. Despite the lack of evidence, the caller was ready to “take them down” utilizing a can of pepper spray and a saw. The caller was advised to leave the house and let police take care of the issue. The man then waited outside, still wielding the pepper spray and saw, for police who checked the apartment and found no one inside.

February 8 

7:53 p.m. A man with his own puke bucket showed up and made a scene.

8:36 p.m. The man with a bucket moved on to another location and started yelling at people before standing in the middle of the road.

February 12

10:17 a.m. Deputies were responding to the barstool races in Martin City. No crime had been reported, yet.

February 13

1:14 p.m. A Marion man called to report that a local pastor flipped him off.

February 22

12:32 a.m. An intoxicated man called asking for President Donald Trump’s number. When dispatch asked the intoxicated man for his name, he told them he was Don Trump and then hung up.

February 26

11:03 a.m. A dog named Reese’s Pieces bit a kid in the face.

February 27

1:10 a.m. A Kalispell woman called to say that a dog walked into her house. She doesn’t know where it came from and doesn’t want it to stay. When asked what type of dog it was, she said it looked like a Chihuahua but could be a Husky.

6:09 a.m. A Hungry Horse resident called to say that a man named Don was in a secret room in his house. When asked to elaborate, the anonymous caller said, “You know what I’m talking about.”

3:14 p.m. A 4-year-old from Lakeside called up 911 and chatted up the dispatcher for a few minutes. The “talkative” toddler said that his mom recently pulled a baby out of her belly and that his dad was planning on showing him an excavator soon. He also said that his dad was about to “puke.” After a few minutes, the young lad put his dad on the line. The father said everything was fine and that he wasn’t puking.

March 6

3:17 a.m. A Bigfork woman called police because her husband and his buddies were in the garage using power tools and being “obnoxiously loud.”

March 12

2:26 a.m. A good Samaritan helped pull a man’s truck out of the ditch. Initially he felt good about his deed, but the more he thought about it, he realized it was probably a bad idea since the man had clearly been drunk and was driving in the wrong lane of the road.

6:41 p.m. A man who had violated his probation tried to turn himself in at the local Subway.

March 26

7:16 p.m. A man driving a van peeled out of casino parking lot in Kalispell, hit the curb, blew out a tire, nailed a trashcan and then kept going.

March 27

8:33 a.m. A local law enforcement officer helped a turkey cross the road.

March 28

11:55 a.m. A Columbia Falls woman reported that her landlord had thrown out all of her stuff. The landlord said he thought the woman had moved out and just forgotten to take her stuff. The landlord added that it was “dumpster stuff” anyway.

April 1

3:19 p.m. A Kalispell man called police because a woman he does not know came into his home, announced that his birds were sick and then tried to take them with her to the vet. The reporting party thinks the woman is just trying to steal his birds.

5:22 p.m. A local woman called police because she just came back from an out-of-town trip and discovered that her husband changed the locks on their house. She said it was odd because she thought everything was fine in their relationship.

April 5

8:01 a.m. A Kalispell resident called police demanding that they “put down the doughnuts” and get to work.

May 1

12:48 p.m. A Kalispell man called the cops because someone abandoned a few rabbits on his property and they have since gone on a breeding frenzy.

May 3

11:32 a.m. A weird guy at a Kalispell casino wouldn’t stop talking about dinosaurs.

May 24

1:08 p.m. A Bigfork man keeps calling the sheriff’s office and telling them to “come and get him,” but no one is sure why they’d want to come and get him.

May 29

2:23 p.m. An argument between a father and son escalated near Bigfork when the son allegedly tried to run his dad over with a vehicle. The father apparently jumped out the way and then somehow got on the roof of the vehicle while the son drove down the road.

June 19

6:45 p.m. A Kalispell man avenged the death of his chickens by shooting two neighborhood dogs, killing one and wounding another. The man called police immediately after the shooting to tell them what he had done. He noted that the final straw was the dogs chasing his mules.

June 21

10:25 a.m. An “excitable” man with a fanny pack was bothering people at a department store.

June 29

10:32 p.m. A herd of cattle was moving through a Kalispell neighborhood.

June 28

12:19 p.m. A Whitefish man was standing in his front yard with a crowbar, tapping it in one hand in a very threatening manner.

July 4

8:00 a.m. Some Bigfork residents kicked off Independence Day by blowing up a mailbox with a sparkler bomb.

July 5

1:11 a.m. A Hungry Horse man was shooting fireworks at nearby sheriff’s deputies. In response, they tazed him.

July 6

11:49 a.m. A Bigfork man who frequently rides his horse into town called police because someone had complained to him about his animal defecating in the middle of the street. Law enforcement told the man that it’s “common sense” to pick up after his horse if it “does its business” in front of someone else’s business.

July 23

11:40 p.m. A Coram resident reported that someone had left a “bag of hornets” at their house. The caller believed that it was a deliberate attack on his family. A deputy assured him that it probably wasn’t a crime, just a weird thing to leave at someone’s house.

July 26

11:51 a.m. A Kila man called police because someone stole his gun. He usually leaves the weapon on his desk at home, but he hadn’t seen it for a few weeks. But he added the caveat that he hadn’t “gone looking for it.”

4:03 p.m. A drunk guy in sweatpants refused to leave McDonald’s.

August 3

5:44 p.m. A Kalispell woman called police because someone broke into her house and stole a number of items. The woman wasn’t particularly concerned about the stolen goods — “it’s all junk,” she reassured the dispatcher — but was generally worried about someone breaking into houses.

August 17

4:56 p.m. A Kalispell man was upset because “the entire bar was mad at him last night and it was the bartender’s fault and nobody would do anything about it.”

August 20

8:33 p.m. A dog that was running around south of Kalispell apparently turned itself in when it ran right to the animal shelter.

August 22

7:25 p.m. A Kalispell woman called animal control to report a cat outside. The woman was advised that animal control usually lets cats do their own thing and would not be picking up this feline.

August 23

2:23 a.m. A man called 911 to report that he was drunk and lost in the woods.

August 31

8:14 p.m. Cows were at large.

September 5

6:11 p.m. A Shady Lane resident called 911 because his neighbors were setting off fireworks and then quickly hung up before giving law enforcement any useful information about where this was happening. Soon after the man called back and screamed, “When are you going to [expletive] send someone to deal with these [expletive] fireworks. You’re a bunch of [expletive].” He then hung up again.

September 17

10:36 a.m. A dog named Raymond has been barking for at least a week in a Kalispell neighborhood. Based on the number of complaints, it’s clear that everybody does not love Raymond.

September 10

8:39 a.m. A Whitefish resident called 911 to report a deer with a broken leg on his lawn. The man wanted to see if anyone could pick up the deer and take care of it. The dispatcher told the caller that the only options were to “let nature takes it course” or to have someone come by and finish it off. The caller wasn’t a fan of either option because it appeared the deer could go on to live a full and satisfying life if someone just put a cast on its broken leg.

October 5

10:45 a.m. A Canadian called the sheriff’s office and asked, “What the heck is going on down there?” It’s unclear if anyone had an answer to that question.

October 12

12:45 p.m. A bear was in a ditch after being struck by a car on Swan Mountain Drive. A few minutes later, a caller reported that the bear was now sitting up in the ditch and might have finally caught its breath.

1:40 p.m. A Kalispell man said a “foreign” sounding man called wanting his bank information so that he could receive $600,000. When the Kalispell resident refused to give such detailed information, the man on the other end of the line announced that he “knows ISIS” and was going to “bomb your village.”

October 15

8:47 p.m. Two men got into a heated argument about how to “fish correctly.” It would appear that both men should take their hobby a little less seriously.

October 18

2:28 p.m. A Lakeside resident said someone tried to scam him out of money via email so he decided to scam him right back and respond with his own email demanding money. After a few days, the Lakeside man had grown tired of this game and wanted some advice on how to end it.

October 25

11:43 a.m. A Kalispell man got into a fight over money with his brother. The brother allegedly assaulted the man who in turn made a “citizens arrest” by tying up his brother with duct tape.

October 29

8:11 a.m. A Somers woman wanted law enforcement to do a welfare check on her ex-boyfriend because he had sent her a link to a sad Johnny Cash song on YouTube.

November 2

11:08 a.m. A local bakery owner reported that one of his employees has been stealing dough.

November 7

12:43 p.m.  A Columbia Falls woman reported that her neighbor’s cats walk into her house, eat her cat’s food and then swat at it. Apparently these cats have no regard for the law.

November 12

6:51 p.m. A Kalispell woman called police to ask if she could file elder abuse charges against her son because “he’s lazy and eats her food.” She was advised that neither of those actions were illegal.

7:41 p.m. A concerned citizen called the cops to inform them of some drama on a local Facebook group.

November 21

2:43 p.m. A Marion man was worried that his wife had gone missing. Law enforcement was able to track the woman down and learned that she had decided to break up with him but had failed to mention it to him.

December 5

3:45 p.m. A drunk guy was driving through Bigfork with knives duct-taped to a baseball bat.

December 7

12:51 p.m. A Hungry Horse woman got a call from the power company asking why she was using so much electricity. She didn’t think she was using an excessive amount until she walked around her house and found a power cord leading from her place to her neighbor’s home.

4:52 p.m. A Kalispell couple was trying to get high so they locked the kids outside in the cold. This raised concerns from neighbors, law enforcement and child protective services.

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