Kalispell Man Who Held Box Cutter to His Throat in Justice Center Arrested

Law enforcement apprehended John Drew Peterson using less-lethal rounds and a K9 following a disturbance in the Flathead County Justice Center

By Maggie Dresser
The Flathead County Justice Center in Kalispell. Beacon File Photo

A 75-year-old Kalispell man was arrested after holding a box cutter blade to his throat inside the Flathead County Justice Center on Tuesday, causing a disturbance and saying he wanted “justice.”

John Drew Peterson was booked in the Flathead County Detention Center on May 17 after violating conditions of release stemming from a separate stalking felony charge filed in March. He is being held on a $250,000 bond.

According to the petition to revoke bond filed by Flathead County Attorney Travis Ahner, Peterson appeared in the lobby of the third floor of the Flathead County Justice Center on May 16, demanding justice and indicating that he was upset with Flathead County law enforcement and two district court judges, who he identified by name.

Peterson put away the box cutter but pulled it out again and was eventually ordered by law enforcement to lie on the ground, but he did not comply, records state.

Less-lethal rounds were deployed and a K9 was utilized before he was transported to Logan Health.

In April, Peterson pleaded not guilty to a felony charge of stalking before Judge Robert Allison. He posted a $100,000 bond.

According to charging documents, Flathead County Sherriff’s Office deputies in March responded to a residence on Castle View Road in Kalispell where the reporting party and neighbor told law enforcement that Peterson was standing in the yard holding a machete, threatening him and telling him he would kill him and his family and “gut them like pigs.”

Deputies met with Peterson, who said he was upset with his neighbors and blamed their dog for injuring his horse. A veterinarian later determined the horse did have an injury, but it did not appear to be from a dog.

A machete was located in Peterson’s barn and matched the reporting party’s description.

According to documents, the neighbor already had a restraining order against Peterson and the charge was the defendant’s second stalking offense. The first felony charge was dismissed by the court in 2011 and involved the same neighbors.

Peterson is scheduled to stand trial on Oct. 10.

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