By Tim Leeds/Havre Daily Newsemail@example.com
A former assistant wrestling coach and instructor of health and physical education at Montana State University-Northern was arrested Sunday in Miles City on a charge of attempted deliberate homicide.
Custer County Attorney Garry Bunke said Tuesday his office is reviewing the case and will probably decide within a week whether to file charges in state District Court against Michael Lane, 28.
According to Miles City police, witnesses said Lane forced Sadie Johnson, 20, of Browning over the railing of a 15-foot balcony and held her there while threatening to kill her. When Miles City police Sgt. Dan Davis arrived, he broke up a fight between two men who had stopped the alleged assault and Lane and some of his friends, a police report said.
Police received a call about an assault at 8:45 p.m. Sunday.
Lane is being held in the Custer County jail on charges of felony burglary and two counts of misdemeanor assault as well as the attempted deliberate homicide charge. Bond is set at $75,000.
David Ray, head wrestling coach at Northern, said he is confident Lane will be cleared of the charges. He said members of the wresting team told him Lane had been arrested.
"I know things have been exaggerated," Ray said. "I knew who started them. He didn't, he retaliated."
Ray said that Lane has left Northern's staff and planned to leave Havre to attend graduate school.
Lane, who is originally from Sheridan, Wyo., and three senior members of Northern's wrestling team were in Miles City to help a local rancher brand, Ray said.
The police report said that Lane grabbed Johnson around the neck and began assaulting her, then pushed her nearly over the railing.
"Johnson was being held up only by Lane's hands around her neck and the railing on her one leg," the police report said. "Lane began telling Johnson that he was going to kill her and throw her off of the balcony."
A witness ran to a neighbor's apartment, the document said, and requested assistance from Richard Williamson III, 22, and Randy Danklefsen, 20. Williamson called police and the two went to help Johnson, the document said.
After Williamson and Danklefsen forced their way past several of Lane's friends, Danklefsen pulled Lane and Johnson from the balcony, the police report said. When Lane continued to assault Johnson, Danklefsen restrained him, the document said.
Lane then followed Danklefsen and Williamson into their apartment and began assaulting them, the police report said.
When Sgt. Davis arrived, Lane and several of his friends were fighting Danklefsen and Williamson, the document said, and Davis broke up the altercation.
Police said Johnson suffered injuries to her neck and body. Cindy Furhman of Holy Rosary Healthcare, the only health care facility in the area, said today that Johnson had not been admitted to the facility.
Lane suffered a head cut but refused medical attention, police said.
The burglary charge stems from Lane's alleged entry into Williamson and Danklefsen's apartment, and two charges of misdemeanor assault resulted from the alleged attack of Williamson and Danklefsen, police said.
Lane, a 1999 graduate of Northern, is a two-time NAIA All-American wrestler and finished fifth in the 167-pound weight class at the national tournament as a senior.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.