Man in critical condition after incident at Golden Spike


Gene Johnson, a 34-year-old Big Sandy man, was in critical condition this morning in Benefis Hospital's Intensive Care Unit after an altercation early Saturday morning at The Golden Spike, a Havre tavern.

According to the Havre Police Department's incident report, the only suspect in the reported felony assault is 47-year-old Havre resident, Kenneth Erickson, who owns E-1 Towing.

No charges have been filed.

Police Chief Jerry Nystrom said Thursday that investigators are still interviewing witnesses and watching Johnson's medical status.

Hill County Attorney Gina Dahl said details of the incident had not reached her office yet.

"I have not yet received any information from law enforcement on this incident, " Dahl said in an email this morning. "I believe it is still under investigation. Therefore, I am not aware of any specifics regarding this incident. "

Erickson said that the incident was a case of self-defense.

According to Erickson, he felt threatened by a man taller and younger than himself, who was shoving and shouting.

When asked why Johnson could have been threatening him with violence, Erickson said, "I don't even know. I was like, 'What the heck? '"

"It was an accident, it was an unfortunate incident," he said. "He fell backwards and hit his head."

Nystrom, and the incident report, said that his department received numerous phone calls about 1:28 a. m. April 23, reporting that a man that had "been punched in the head is bleeding and unconscious. "

According to the report Johnson was taken by ambulance from The Golden Spike to Northern Montana Hospital, where he was treated at 2:28 a. m. Saturday.

He was later taken to Benefis Hospital in Great Falls, where he has been in critical condition for nearly a week.


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