Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On April 3, 2023, Missoula Police Department officers responded to the Johnson Street Warming Shelter for a report of a large fight involving baseball bats. Upon arrival, officers spoke with five separate individuals, including 43-year-old Michael Sorlie. 

An officer observed an obvious facial injury to one of the males involved. There was a large golf ball-sized lump near his left eye and cheekbone. The male requested a medical evaluation. The officer asked the male what occurred and he stated Sorlie hit him in the face with a tire iron. 

The male said he had been sleeping in Sorlie’s vehicle and Sorlie told him to leave the back seat. The male stated he did not get out of the vehicle fast enough and Sorlie hit him with a tire iron across the face.  

After concluding his interview with the male, the officer read Sorlie his Miranda rights, and Sorlie agreed to speak. Sorlie stated he owns the vehicle where this incident occurred and it was parked near the Johnson Street Shelter. Sorlie stated that the male had been in the back seat of his vehicle when the male began kicking the doors and the back window of the vehicle.  

Sorlie said he told the male to stop and get out of the vehicle. Sorlie stated the male then “squared up” to him. Sorlie said he perceived this as a threat and admitted to hitting the male across the face with a crowbar. The officer asked if the male had a weapon of any sort and Sorlie stated he did not.  

The officer informed Sorlie that his action seemed disproportionate to what the male had done and asked why he didn’t call 911. Sorlie stated he had been taught to take care of things himself. The officer then asked Sorlie where the crowbar was. Sorlie stated it was in his car and he allowed the officer to recover it. 

Sorlie is currently being charged with felony assault with a weapon. 

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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