A Week So Violent Even Officials Are Asking What’s Going On

by Travis Mateer

The first week of August featured a surge in violence that Deputy Attorney, Matt Jennings, couldn’t account for. Here is how he reported the news to KGVO:

Missoula County’s Chief Deputy County Attorney Matt Jennings had some sobering news for our listeners on Friday when he delivered the weekly crime report.

Firstly, he expressed deep concern that there were so many violent crimes to report this week.

“For the last year and I guess for most of 2022 we’ve been averaging about 13 felony complaints filed each week,” began Jennings. “This week was really busy because we had 21, and one of the things that stands out this week is that out of those 21 felony complaints that we filed, 11 of them were actually violent crimes, and only one of them was a drug crime. We often see a little bit more of a mix of property crimes and drugs in our community, but something was going on this week.”

The violence seems to be continuing this week with a cluster of incidents, including a man who used a hammer to assault someone at the Authorized Camping Site.

Isn’t it wonderful our taxes are paying for PRIVATE security to ensure stuff like this doesn’t happen? Or maybe I’m wrong about the purpose of paying for private security, maybe there’s some other kind of service they are providing.

From the link:

On August 3, 2022, a Missoula Police Department Officer responded to a reported assault at the Authorized Camp Site on Clark Fork Lane. The officer located the alleged victim who was laying on the ground near the entrance to the campsite. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.

“Officers responded to the Authorized Camping Site near the security trailer for the report of a victim who was bleeding,” Arnold said. “The victim had been at the security trailer filling their water bottle. When walking away, Blake Stevens ran toward the victim and struck them. On scene, officers observed blood coming from an apparent head wound. Officers were able to get a quick preliminary statement on site. The victim was transported to a local hospital for treatment.”

Since starting this post, and saving it, other incidents have occurred that I’m adding for this necessary SATURDAY bonus post in Zoom Town Meth Town. Like the guy who exposed himself and DID NOT stop there, humping things like the air and the police car. Yes, you read that right. From the link (emphasis mine):

Charlie was handcuffed and a hypodermic needle and metal pipe were found in his pockets. While Charlie was being searched, the officer overheard another officer telling Charlie, “stop trying to kiss me.” According to court documents, Charlie began humping the air and appeared to be trying to rub his body on the officer’s patrol car.

While this post opened with the first week’s crime report, I waited long enough to post this that week two is clearly continuing the trend with the subheading “meth continues to have an impact”. No shit.

The REAL motivator for today’s special Saturday post is what happened at the Fairgrounds yesterday, and this really pisses me off, because I was there yesterday with my little girl. This getting out of fucking control. From the cop Facebook page:

Here’s a picture of Robert Price from the jail roster:

And here’s the woman who needs to be getting A LOT of the credit for chaos spreading on the streets of Zoom Town:

Kirsten Pabst…bring back the Krak?

I’ll be writing more about our Chief County Attorney in future posts. Stay safe out there Missoula!

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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5 Responses to A Week So Violent Even Officials Are Asking What’s Going On

  1. I look forward with great intrerest to your piece on Babst. It would be cool if you could somehow spin a poem making use of the “Babst/Pabst” rhyme.

    Now for my two cents.

    Social media are saturated with exploitation of the Price episode by extreme rightwing Republican brownshirts blaming it on the purportedly “socialist” Missoula City government, a shameless Alex Jones-esque effort they are using as part of an effort to scapegoat “DemonRats” running the City, an aspect of their campaign to lay blame for all evils on Democrats so they can win at east two more state Senate seats, thereby attaining a two-chamber super-majority they need in order to refer ballot measures to Montanans eviscerating our MT Constitution’s Declaration of Rights. That is despicable. But is there a grain of truth in their narrative? Consider the following.

    There is an apparent commonality to the ‘anomalous’ spike in violent incidents last week that the police source brought to your attention. From this armchair, I suspect a big batch of especially potent meth is driving it. I mean, I’ve represented hundreds of meth heads in criminal cases and these behaviors are classic examples of those that occur when people with fragile psyches get their hands on powerful shit and it manifests in a toxic psychosis.

    Take, for example, the hammer attack at the “safe” camping space, and Price’s grabbing of a young girl in broad daylight in front of hundreds of people as her father was about to take her picture; then upon briefly escaping without the girl and being interdicted by cops, the guy drops trou and commences jerking off.

    Wow. Hammer attacks, sexual Trump-style crotch grabs of women/girls, public masturbation, and attempted or accomplished abductions of females in broad daylight in crowded public places, are behaviors seen in many clients that were assigned to me or to my office colleague. The similarities to what’s happening here lately are uncanny. New Riders sang about how when Panama Red’s in town, nobody feels like workin’, your woman (who was probably up in bed with Red) says you’re acting crazy like a clown, but we all know Red satisfies…and the Judge don’t know when Red’s in town… But meth is different, as Hunter Thompson wrote about. But I digress. Here are examples of what I’m talking about:

    (1) I was appointed in Clackamas County, Oregon (once the “meth production capital of the US”) to represent a man who became homeless and drifted around, sleeping in his car for a while. He’d lost his job working for some shady ‘furniture makers’ whose biz was a front for an auto theft, dope brokering, and a fencing operation. Client discovered that, got into a beef with boss about it, and was canned. OK, so he gets his hands on some meth, which he’d sometimes relied on to work nights. This was some really pure shit, good crystal meth. After a week’s run on that shit, this already fragile-psyche dude went into toxic psychosis and did the following:

    (a) drove across town to his former employer’s one night with a hammer. Walked into boss’s office, uttered a rambling word-salad rant, and without warning attacked the guy with the hammer he had stuffed in his pants behind his back. It was damn near a homicide. One of the dozens of head blows left the hammer implanted in the victim’s head. Pics of the guy being wheeled into the ER by paramedics showed the hammer stuck in the guy’s head, penetrating his skull. A 15-page medical record concluded with the simple statement “Clinical impression: hammer in head.”

    (b) Client fled and, still agitated, psychotic and sleep-deprived, the next afternoon drove to a store parking lot. An attractive young woman (17 years old) walking to her car captured his interest and he lit from his car, grabbed her and tried to stuff her into his car, while groping her. In broad daylight in front of dozens of people. He’d never done anything like that. Cops were close by and he was apprehended. He remained psychotic in jail and like the situation in Montana, getting him transferred from jail to a secure mental health facility wasn’t happening despite my efforts and help from a good shrink. His florid psychosis dissipated over a 4-week period and after that month, his mother posted bail … and he absconded.for months. Fortunately, he got straight and surrendered to me, and I took him back to the jail. With the shrink’s good help I managed to get all but three of the 13 felony counts dismissed and he did four years in stir, with decent addiction treatment. He is now a productive citizen. Hammer victim walks with a limp but otherwise recovered.

    (2) my office partner, soon after my client’s hammer rampage, was appointed to represent a guy who got hold of super clean and potent meth and visited his parents. He bludgeoned them to death with … a hammer. Afterwards, he felt like having a beer, so he called a buddy with no clue about this, and asked to meet him at a McMennamin’s craft beer joint. When the server asked what they wanted, this guy, wild-eyed and smiling, laughed and replied: “I’ll have a Hammerhead!” (a popular, very hoppy McMenamin’s staple). He was ultimately able to plead out to a lesser offense than capital murder by virtue of the toxic psychosis shrinks said he was afflicted with as a result of his ingestion of significant amounts of the very potent meth.

    The fairgrounds episode (and, I suspect, the prelude alleged animal abuse and and assault with deadly weapon for which Price was recogged) scream METH TOXIC PSYCHOSIS to me. Same with the guy doing the homeless camp hammer attack. Hell, this is nothing new to you, at all. You’ve been face-to-face with it innumerable times in your former work and in your current avocation.

    Where the “socialist” (a ludicrous label) City government comes in is, of course, in terms of the Mayor’s and Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness in Missoula (that recently, without fanfare, slipped into year 11) and the Byzantine bureaucracy it has spawned. The City’s anti-loitering and “no sleep/lie” ordinances are constitutional only if there is adequate shelter on any for all who need it.

    The “anomalous” eruptions of (apparently) meth-induced, toxic-psychosis-driven violent and bizarre hypersexualized criminal conduct will become increasingly common, the product of:

    (a) the unsafe Safe Outdoor Temporary extended-time space;
    (b) the private insecure security cops;
    (c) a Houseless Industrial Complex fueled by policies that gentrify in the Orwellianesque name of providing equally deceptively named “affordable housing; ” and
    (d) regressive, oppressive property taxes threatening to displace (render houseless) struggling fixed-income homeowners, taxes that fund this entire mess (and enrich certain elites) while not significantly constructing the community mental heath & addiction treatment infrastructure so desperately needed.

    What I find strange, also, is the apparent failure of Missoula Police Dept. to follow its own policy manual with regard to use of Drug Recognition Experts (DREs) in these episodes. See, Section 10.50 of said manual, accessible via this link:


    Don’t get me wrong — I deem the DRE scam to be mostly junk science practiced by incompetent phony experts. But it doesn’t take a few seminars and an impressive-sounding title, to recognize the obvious signs of meth-induced toxic psychosis. As Dylan sang, “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows.”
    Why is there no allusion to this in the news articles reporting on journalists’ communications with MPD about the Price incident? Why didn’t MPD follow its own DRE policy?

    Maybe MPD will explain this to a zealous citizen journalist.

    — JKH

  2. Correction: I referenced above an “MPD source” when I should have referenced
    “Chief County Deputy Attorney Matt Jennings’ statement to KGVO.”

    Excellent reporting, Travis.

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