Bigfork Man Arrested After Brief Standoff

Ronald Clackler allegedly fired shots outside a neighbor's home Tuesday, was arrested by SWAT team after refusing to comply with deputies

By Andy Viano
A Flathead County Sheriff's Office vehicle. Beacon file photo

A 63-year-old Bigfork man is in custody after a neighbor accused him of riding up her driveway on an ATV and shooting out the windows of the vehicles parked there.

Ronald Dean Clackler was arrested after a short standoff at his home on Alpine Drive in Bigfork and is being held on suspicion of assault with a weapon and criminal mischief.

According to a press release from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office, law enforcement was dispatched to a home in the 400 block of Alpine Drive just after 4 p.m. on Tuesday after a report of a man firing a gun outside. Deputies made contact with a woman hiding in the basement of the home who reported that an “older male” drove up to her residence on an ATV and shot at the vehicles. Investigators determined the suspect was Clackler, who had by that time driven the ATV to his own nearby residence. Clackler initially refused to speak with deputies or exit his home but was apprehended not long after SWAT teams arrived.

The incident remains under investigation. Clackler had not been charged as of Wednesday morning.

Tuesday’s shooting is the second time this year that Clackler has drawn the attention of law enforcement. On Sept. 6, he was involved in a shootout on Alpine Drive with a man and woman who were looking at a nearby home, according to Flathead County Undersheriff Wayne DuBois. No charges have been filed related to that incident. There is no clear connection between the two shootings, DuBois said.

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UPDATE (Dec. 2, 3:20 p.m.): This story has been updated to include details about the Sept. 6 shootout.