A Tale Of Two Towns: Golf Club Assault Vs. Reflection Garden

by Travis Mateer

The drunk man who pulled a knife on someone AFTER being beaten by a Native woman with a golf club is perfectly juxtaposed by an article about a reflection garden being planned at Fort Missoula Regional Park.

You can’t make this shit up.

Here’s a little snap shot of the violence our community allows to simmer and explode around the Poverello Center:

At around 4:00 p.m. on Saturday, a Missoula Police Department officer responded to the Poverello Center to break up a verbal argument between a male and female. The involved parties were 35-year-old Ryan Salas and 44-year-old Tara Littlelight. The officer discovered that Salas was intoxicated and was the aggressor. Salas received a warning and was asked to leave the area for the evening.

Approximately one hour later, the officer was re-dispatched to the Poverello after Littlelight struck Salas over the head with a golf club. Upon arrival, Salas confirmed that Littlelight caused him pain by striking him over the head with a golf club after another verbal argument. Salas was still intoxicated and difficult to understand.

Hey, I know, maybe if we had A REFLECTION GARDEN this man would have a place where he could go and reflect on the resources being deployed MULTIPLE TIMES to deal with his drunk ass.

Now, here’s a little snap shot of Donna Gaulker’s vision for A REFLECTION GARDEN!

Making the pitch for this vision, County Planner Jackson Lee:

“The preferred master plan is reflective of public comments received,” said county planner Jackson Lee. “Improvements would include pickle ball and handball courts, interpretive elements, a reflection garden, and also serve as the southeast gateway to the park.”

Doesn’t that sound nice, Missoula? I bet it sounds a lot nicer than having Missoula police leave a drunk man with just a verbal request to leave the area so he can eventually threaten to cut someone’s jugular.

At 6:25 p.m. that same evening, officers responded to the Poverello Center again for another incident where a weapon was involved. A Poverello employee explained that he was casually speaking with a male when Salas become upset and interjected himself into the conversation.

Salas and the male began to argue and their conversation became heated. During the argument, Salas threatened to cut the male’s jugular and brandished a knife in his hand. The situation eventually deescalated, and Salas and the male separated. The employee said Salas put the knife in his coat pocket.

An officer located Salas and attempted to get his side of the story. Salas was heavily intoxicated and refused to converse with the officer. Salas then became angry and began yelling and spitting. Officers placed him in a spit hood and transported him to jail. Salas is currently being charged with attempted assault with a weapon.

If this seems confounding to you, that’s because you haven’t listened to episode nine of Zoom Chron, titled Crime And No Punishment.

Maybe the Gomer Kidston/Jackson Lee development pitch landed soft the first time. Here’s a further description of the amazing stuff that awaits the Fort Missoula Regional Park once funding can be secured (emphasis mine):

Lee said the plan looks to integrate the parcel as a revitalized “park within a park” offering various recreation opportunities for users, and to enhance the southeast gateway to Fort Missoula Regional Park. 

Funding for the effort is being sought, he added.

Holy shit, a PARK WITHIN A PARK? Fuck yeah, Jackson Lee, let me grab my check book!

And a golf club to defend myself, because gentrification is a real bitch.

About Travis Mateer

I'm an artist and citizen journalist living and writing in Montana. You can contact me here: willskink at yahoo dot com
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2 Responses to A Tale Of Two Towns: Golf Club Assault Vs. Reflection Garden

  1. webdoodle says:

    Mayor Engen should use his recently tested imminent domain seizure laws to seize Denny Washington’s nearly unused ranch up Grant Creek (the one with the mini-cows), and move the emergency shelter and Poverello there. Our homeless/vagrant crisis is way more critical than securing a leaky water company ever was, and would cost much less that the constant vandalism, theft, violence, and other law enforcement calls that plague our city. They could give Partnership Health Center another grant to build yet another satellite clinic up there (they are up to 5 now), and have a bus that runs up there every few hours. It’s not like Denny even lives there. He only comes to Missoula for his birthday, otherwise spending all his time on extending his Yachts length in Oregon (size issues?).

  2. Whatever happened to charging someone with public intoxication, hauling them off to jail to spend a few days sobering up, then turning them loose with a warning that the next time it would be much harder for them?

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