Skip to comments.'I thought I was going to get killed' [Montana]
Posted on 05/06/2009 4:20:49 AM PDT by marktwain
STEVENSVILLE-Brook Blakeley knows what its like to be looking down the business end of an assault rifle.
He didnt much like it.
Two Saturdays back, Blakeley and his wife had just finished walking their usual three-mile loop around Three Mile Road on the east side of the Bitterroot Valley just north of Stevensville.
Like usual, Blakeley was carrying his pellet rifle on his shoulder. *
My neighbor has given me permission to shoot starlings on his property and so I take my pellet gun along, he said. Im also an avid hunter. I think it is good practice to carry it with me.
The couple returned home which is located across the street from the little Three Mile Store. His wife went inside while Blakeley lingered on the porch with his rifle still on his shoulder.
I saw a squad car coming down the road about that time, he remembered. It went by my house and then flipped a u-ey in the stores parking lot. Dirt was flying everywhere. I thought the store was being robbed.
Then, much to his surprise, the car pulled off Three Mile Road and onto his lot. Another squad car from the Stevensville City Police blocked the road he lives on.
Blakeley said he watched in amazement as officers began to deploy in front of his home. One carrying a tactical assault rifle took cover behind a trailer on his property. Another officer came directly at him with his pistol drawn. The officer was yelling at him to drop his weapon.
Ive watched a lot of cop shows, Blakeley said. I could tell that guy was on an adrenaline rush. I thought I was going to get killed.
Blakeley said he took the gun off his shoulder, leaned it against the house and put his hands in the air. He started telling the officers: This is my home. I live here. This is a pellet gun.
From inside his home, Blakeley could hear his wife screaming at him to come inside.
She was very afraid and eventually ran to the back of the house, Blakeley said.
In the next few minutes, the officers had Blakeley kneel in his front yard. He was handcuffed in front of his neighbors. They then led him to one of the squad cars where he was questioned.
The officers told Blakeley there had been two reports of him screaming at people and acting oddly.
He told them: I can guarantee you that I havent taken this rifle off my shoulder and I havent spoken to a single person. Someone is lying to you.
According to Blakeley, it took about 10 minutes for the officers to realize they had made a mistake. They released him.
I couldnt believe that this had just happened to me on my own front porch, Blakeley said. I dont have anything against the officers. They were professional and courteous to me. I appreciate the fact that their job is sometimes dangerous, but someone lied to them and it put both me and my family in danger.
Blakeley is asking the Ravalli County Sheriffs Office to complete a full investigation on the matter. Last week, he asked for copies of the police report, transcripts from the 911 call, names of the callers and other information.
On Monday, Blakeley said he hadnt received any of it.
I kind of feel like this is being swept under the rug, he said. This whole incident was totally embarrassing for me. I was mortified and completely humiliated. Ive never had handcuffs on in my life.
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said the officers responded appropriately considering the information they had received.
Hoffman said 911 dispatch received two calls about Blakeley that evening. The first reported a man walking around with a rifle over his shoulder. The second call had the man yelling at cars.
When the first call came in, a deputy was dispatched to the area. At that point, Hoffman said there wouldnt be much reason for the officer to be apprehensive. The second call that had a man with a rifle yelling at cars was a different matter.
That would escalate it a little bit, Hoffman said. An officer would start thinking that maybe theres a potential situation.
Officers from Stevensville were called for backup.
Somewhere along the route, someone flagged down the sheriffs deputy and told him that Blakeley was pointing his rifle in the officers direction, Hoffman said.
We have that conversation on tape, he said.
At the point, the incident escalated.
The call went from nothing but a drive-by to check it out to what in essence was a felony take-down of an individual, Hoffman said. When that happens, officers have their weapons out. No fingers are on the trigger, but it is serious.
Hoffman is confident the officers reacted correctly.
Given the information the officers had at the time, I am very confident that their response was absolutely appropriate, he said.
Hoffman said he plans on providing Blakeley with the information he requested within reason as soon as possible.
Well go out of our way to comply with Mr. Blakeleys request and make sure that he has all the information that we can provide him, Hoffman said. Well do whatever we can to help him understand this situation.
Blakeley said hes looking forward to putting this incident behind him, but its not going to be easy.
His wife isnt sure she want to stay in the home they recently built.
She told me that she doesnt feel safe here anymore, Blakeley said. She hasnt been sleeping very well since this happened. She says she doesnt want to be here anymore.
Blakeley said all he wants is some assurance that the incident is being taken seriously.
I just want an explanation on why this happened, he said. I wouldnt want anyone else to have to go through something like this.
Editor Perry Backus can be reached at 363-3300 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
A good read for those that think our Armed forces will be the ones to hammer the citzenry in the event of civil unrest!
If they find these fools they should be required to pay for the deployment of the Sheriffs Deputies and the Sytevensville City Police. That is my assessment of the situation.
I suspect your correct
I lived in Montana for 5 years and used to do business with a company in Stevensville. It is barely a wide place in the road, south of Missoula. I doubt the local cops get many calls.
Montana Law Enforcement officers are very used to seeing people walking around carrying guns, even in town. The day I bought my M-1A, I carried it out of the store and walked down the street in Helena towards my car. A Helena Police Department cruiser drove by and slammed on the brakes and two officers jumped out. They walked towards me and said, “Dude! Nice piece! Can we see it?” They drooled over it for a couple of minutes, then gave it back, thanked me and drove away.
He couldn’t believe it? Hasn’t been paying attention to the last 20 years. But I guess most people don’t until it happens to them.
“Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said the officers responded appropriately considering the information they had received.”
And how would we know that? So far no substantial info has been released and we’re just supposed to believe officer Hoffman? I don’t think so....
The entire thing stinks of over reaction based on a libtard or 2 calling in false reports. If I were Brook Id press for prosecution of those folks. Would also see if the local police might get better investigative training while I was at it.
It was neither Brook’s fault nor that of the police officers - it was squarely the fault of the a-holes who made misleading phone calls to 911. They should be prosecuted and made to pay all related expenses for this fiasco.
Liberal Urban transplants from anywhere behave the same.
afterall, they do have a gun, and us ignerunt common folk cant be expected to tell the difference between public SERVANTS and everyday folks...
i had the image of barney gettin the radio call and being excited cause hes the first cop on the scene, scramblin to get his bullet...
“Anti-gun sentiment prepares the perpetrator of such for the leaving of the American nest.”
Sounds almost like a case of “Swatting,” where jerks call in panicked 911 calls about some “man with a gun” or false hostage situation. They use prepaid phones that are hard to trace, and are amused by the SWAT response.
Not so amusing for the innocent victims of this “prank.”
...I love a happy ending...
A guy I worked with had this happen to him last month. A neighbor girl, about 12 years old, called 911 and said she was alone in the house at 10:00pm and there was a man outside. She gave my co-worker’s address. He ended up with cops and guns at his head. They quickly established that this was a prank call but did nothing about it. It seems this is today’s dangerous version of “Is your refrigerator running...” prank call.
“I suspect that this was caused by California transplants.”
They cause much more damage to the nation than swine flu.
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