On July 21, 2022, at approximately 12:31 am, Missoula Police Department officers responded to a reported disturbance at a gas station on North Reserve Street. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains. 

“Burton Bertsch and Julie Bertsch were arrested for aggravated assault after physically besting up a victim and causing serious bodily injury,” Arnold said. “The encounter started when the victim was walking to a gas station and engaged in a verbal disturbance with Burton regarding the way the vehicle Burton was driving was exiting the parking lot. The victim reported almost being hit by the vehicle and had made a comment to Burton. The victim reported that Burton stopped, got out of the vehicle, began to physically assault him, and made statements about harming him.” 

According to court documents, the victim said Burton began to hit him in the face and tackled him. The victim yelled at Burton to stop and let him go, but Burton would not. At one point, Burton flipped the victim over so the victim was face down on the pavement with Burton still on top of him. Burton repeatedly punched the victim in the back of his head, the side of his face, and ribs. As the fight progressed, Julie joined in and kicked the victim in the face multiple times. 

“Julie got involved in the disturbance and physically assaulted the victim, causing additional physical injury,” Arnold said. “The victim was transported to a local hospital where the extent of his injuries and current condition is unknown at this time. During the preliminary investigation, officers were able to collect statements and speak to a witness who observed the physical disturbance. This incident is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department Detective Division.” 

Multiple witnesses reported seeing Burton assaulting the victim. A detective observed that the victim’s entire face was very badly bruised and cut. There were numerous bruises on the victim’s forehead, the sides of his head, his cheeks, his jaw, and his neck.  

The victim’s right eye was maroon and purple, and several vessels in his eye were ruptured. The victim also had stitches in the middle of his bottom lip. The victim reported that his front teeth on his bottom jaw were very loose. The victim explained that he already set an appointment with a dentist, who advised that there may be structural damage to his teeth or his jaw. 

The victim said the emergency room doctor told him he had a fractured nose, a laceration on his lip that required stitches, and abrasions on his face. The doctor also told the victim that he likely had a fractured orbital bone near his right eye. The doctor further explained that they would not truly know the full extent of the victim’s injuries until a follow-up appointment could be completed.  

Both Julie and Burton were charged with felony accountability for aggravated assault. Burton was also charged with one count of felony aggravated assault. 

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

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