Crime

Man Charged After Stabbing at Flathead County Bar

Andrew James Peterson ‘inserted himself’ into a fight and allegedly stabbed a man in the abdomen

By Andy Viano
The Flathead County Justice Center in Kalispell. Beacon File Photo

A 34-year-old man is in custody and charged with assault after he allegedly stabbed a man in the abdomen while trying to defend his brother in a bar fight.

Andrew James Peterson was arrested on March 26, two days after the fight, and is being held on $40,000 bail. He is being charged with one count of felony assault with a weapon and his arraignment is scheduled for April 22.

According to court records, law enforcement was called to a Columbia Falls bar on March 24 and told that a fight broke out between two men and that a third man, Peterson, “inserted himself into the fight.” Peterson was armed with a knife and a firearm at the time, although some patrons of the bar were able to remove his gun from his waist.

The next day, one of the men involved in the fight spoke with law enforcement for a second time and told officers with the Columbia Falls Police Department that he realized he had been stabbed. The victim reported he believed he was just “punched really hard” but later noticed that he was bleeding from his stomach area.

In a subsequent interview, Peterson said he only intervened in the fight to protect his brother and that the knife was closed when the altercation started. Surveillance cameras, however, captured the fight and after he was shown the footage Peterson “acknowledged that he probably did not need to use the weapon.”

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