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Charges filed after nine-hour standoff on Bullhook Road

 


Charges filed after nine-hour standoff on Bullhook Road

Zach White

After a half-day standoff outside his Bullhook Road home, more than 10 miles south of town, Dennis Lawlor was arrested on a felony charge of assault with a weapon.

According to documents filed by the county attorney's office, Hill County Sheriff's deputies headed toward the residence around 5 a. m. Tuesday.

On the way, they learned that a similar call had been placed at 5:41 p. m. on Monday, when a hired man on Lawlor's land, John Stoican, contacted the sheriff's office to report that Lawlor was being erratic and possibly suicidal.

The sheriff's office reached Stoican to figure out what was happening. He told them that Lawlor had knocked on his window early in the morning. Stoican saw no weapon and went outside.

When he got there, he said, Lawlor had a hunting rifle, aimed it at Stoican, and told him he was going to "blow your guts out. "

Lawlor did not fire the weapon, but left and went back to his house, Stoican said.

As deputies approached Lawlor's property, his neighbor Clint Solomon met with them and told them he had been to the property. Solomon had spoken with Stoican and gone to Lawlor's house to discuss the incident.

When he couldn't find Lawlor in the house, he went toward the barn where he heard someone. He called to Lawlor, but only heard a gunshot in response.

Solomon left and then met the deputies.

The deputies went to the barn, thinking of the previous evening's report of suicidal activity, but didn't find him there.

They saw Lawlor on the front porch of his house before going inside, and they went to talk to him.

When they reached the house, Lawlor came out the back door with his hands up. As they prepared to arrest him, the court documents say, he "yelled and ran back into the house. "

The deputies then went back up the road to where their radios would work, and they could call for more deputies.

By the time they could get an arrest warrant in the afternoon, another deputy, as well as Sheriff Don Brostrom and Undersheriff Jamie Ross, had come to the residence and brought further backup, including U. S. Border Patrol officers. The Stoican family had been taken from the area with Solomon's help, the charging document says.

Brostrom said Thursday that his office was trying to form a plan when they saw Lawlor leave his house and drive out onto his property, likely to feed livestock.

When he returned to the house, the deputies arrested him and placed him under medical supervision.

He is being charged with assault with a weapon, a felony with maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Lawlor is in custody at Northern Montana Hospital.

After a half-day standoff outside his Bullhook Road home, more than 10 miles south of town, Dennis Lawlor was arrested on a felony charge of assault with a weapon.

According to documents filed by the county attorney's office, Hill County Sheriff's deputies headed toward the residence around 5 a. m. Tuesday.

On the way, they learned that a similar call had been placed at 5:41 p. m. on Monday, when a hired man on Lawlor's land, John Stoican, contacted the sheriff's office to report that Lawlor was being erratic and possibly suicidal.

The sheriff's office reached Stoican to figure out what was happening. He told them that Lawlor had knocked on his window early in the morning. Stoican saw no weapon and went outside.

When he got there, he said, Lawlor had a hunting rifle, aimed it at Stoican, and told him he was going to "blow your guts out. "

Lawlor did not fire the weapon, but left and went back to his house, Stoican said.

As deputies approached Lawlor's property, his neighbor Clint Solomon met with them and told them he had been to the property. Solomon had spoken with Stoican and gone to Lawlor's house to discuss the incident.

When he couldn't find Lawlor in the house, he went toward the barn where he heard someone. He called to Lawlor, but only heard a gunshot in response.

Solomon left and then met the deputies.

The deputies went to the barn, thinking of the previous evening's report of suicidal activity, but didn't find him there.

They saw Lawlor on the front porch of his house before going inside, and they went to talk to him.

When they reached the house, Lawlor came out the back door with his hands up. As they prepared to arrest him, the court documents say, he "yelled and ran back into the house. "

The deputies then went back up the road to where their radios would work, and they could call for more deputies.

By the time they could get an arrest warrant in the afternoon, another deputy, as well as Sheriff Don Brostrom and Undersheriff Jamie Ross, had come to the residence and brought further backup, including U. S. Border Patrol officers. The Stoican family had been taken from the area with Solomon's help, the charging document says.

Brostrom said Thursday that his office was trying to form a plan when they saw Lawlor leave his house and drive out onto his property, likely to feed livestock.

When he returned to the house, the deputies arrested him and placed him under medical supervision.

He is being charged with assault with a weapon, a felony with maximum penalties of 20 years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

Lawlor is in custody at Northern Montana Hospital.

 

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