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Patrick arrested on felony charges at site of BNSF derailment

Accused of threatening workers with a gun

A prominent Havre businessman was arrested on felony charges Friday at a derailment site where his own company had equipment.

An incident report from Hill County Sheriff’s Office said Tom Patrick, 70, was taken into custody without incident.

Patrick’s company, Patrick Construction, was at the site working on the 11-car derailment that happened about 8 miles east of Havre Friday afternoon.

Havre Daily News employees did not see Patrick Construction equipment at the site Saturday afternoon. BNSF had not responded by printing deadline today to a request for information.

A representative of Patrick Construction referred questions the company’s attorney, who had not been available for comment by filing deadline this morning.

The arrest report says Patrick was arrested on suspicion of assault by coercion, intimidation or threat, criminal endangerment and assault with a weapon, all felonies.

The incident report said Hill County sheriff’s deputies responded to a reported disturbance, with the dispatch log showing the call came in at 9:53 p.m. Friday, at the derailment site.

A property owner — Patrick, who owns land north of the derailment site with some of the derailed cars on his property — was reported to have threatened workers on the site with a gun.

After speaking to several witnesses, the report said, deputies, along with Montana Highway Patrol troopers who were at the site, located Patrick inside his pickup to the north of the site and took him into custody.

Patrick was listed in the Hill County Detention Center roster Saturday as being held without bond pending charges, being held on $50,000 bond Sunday morning and was not on the roster Monday or today.

Watch for more in upcoming editions of Havre Daily News.


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