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Teen Pleads To Assault, Threatened Ballantine Man

A 19-year-old Worden man has pleaded guilty to felony assault with a weapon for threatening a Ballantine man who asked him to stop chasing a squirrel with a knife.

Lance Joseph Topel of Worden entered his plea Tuesday before District Judge Russell Fagg in Billings. A plea agreement calls for prosecutors to recommend a five-year suspended sentence when Topel is sentenced on Feb. 7.

The Ballantine man told investigators he saw Topel chasing a squirrel near his house on May 7 and asked him to stop.

Court records say Topel responded by telling the man he could kill squirrels and kill him and then approached the man with the knife. The man said he grabbed a baseball bat and his roommate called the sheriff’s office.

Associated Press

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