Man Arrested After Attacking Girl in Kalispell

Eli Kane Tollie was allegedly choking victim when homeowner interrupted; Tollie returned later and discharged bear spray at himself, injuring several people

By Andy Viano

A transient man has been arrested and charged with felony assault on a minor after he allegedly assaulted and threatened a teenage girl outside a home in Kalispell on Oct. 10, then fired bear spray at himself inside a crowded room.

According to a press release issued by the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office and charging documents filed in Flathead County District Court, a homeowner in the 1700 block of McMannamy Draw in Kalispell heard a “thumping” outside his home on Saturday, Oct. 10 and went to investigate. There, he saw Eli K. Tollie, 42, with his hands around the throat of a teenage girl and heard Tollie say he was going to “cut (the girl)’s [expletive] throat.” The homeowner was able to separate the pair.

Not long after they were separated, Tollie returned to the scene, entered the home with a canister of bear spray and “turned the bear spray upon himself,” according to court documents, causing injuries to several people who were nearby, including the victim of the initial assault, an infant and another adult. Tollie fled to a wooded area but later exited the woods and was taken into custody. Tollie was brought to the hospital for injuries caused by the bear spray but is now incarcerated at the Flathead County Detention Center.

Tollie is currently being held on $75,000 bail. His next court appearance is scheduled for Nov. 25.

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