At around 12:15 a.m. on Thursday, Missoula Police officers were investigating a reported robbery at the Zip Trip near the corner of Toole and Broadway. While they were there, other officers reported hearing shots fired somewhere near the California street foot bridge. The officers cleared the Zip Trip investigation and responded to the potential shooting. Detective Captain Mike Colyer says officers saw a male walking toward them on the bike trail.

“He appeared to try to walk towards the trees in an effort to get out of their line of sight,” Colyer said. “Because he was in the area of a reported shooting, officers wanted to make contact with him. As they got a little closer to him, they noticed he had an injury to the lower part of his leg. They didn’t know if he had been involved in the shooting or had potentially been a victim of the shooting. They attempted to make contact with him, but he refused to cooperate with them.”

According to Colyer, the man began to fight with the officers.

“As they tried to arrest him for obstructing the investigation, he assaulted both of the officers,” Colyer said. “He repeatedly kicked one officer in the torso and upper leg area. He put another officer in a choke hold and tried to disarm one of the officer’s taser. Ultimately, there was taser application against the subject by our officers. That subdued him and he was taken into custody.”

Officer finally identified the man as 37-year-old Stephen Denty. Denty was transported to St. Patrick Hospital with non-life-threatening injuries and was later taken to the Missoula County Jail. He is currently being held for felony assault on a peace officer, resisting arrest, and obstructing a peace officer.

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