At around 4:45 p.m. on Saturday, a Missoula Police Officer was on patrol near the intersection of Russell Street and South 11th Street West. He observed a male and a female in an apparent argument and he felt it was necessary to make sure they were alright. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“The male was argumentative and hostile, and said that he did not need police help,” Welsh said. “The female was a little calmer and was able to relate to the officer that she was trying to calm the male down and that they were fine. The officer left the immediate area. However, soon after a call to 911 reported a disturbance between these same two in the 1500 block of South 11th Street.”

According to Welsh, the same officer returned and again made contact with the couple.

“The male began immediately yelling at the officer,” Welsh said. “The male told the officer he did not need his help and told the officer to go away. While the officer spoke to the female, the male turned away and acted as if he was going to leave. However, he returned and approached the officer very aggressively and postured as if he intended to engage in a fight with the officer.”

Court documents indicate the male turned his right hand into a fist and began beating it into his left hand while yelling obscenities at the officer. The male was walking extremely fast directly toward the officer even though he had instructed him to leave. The male was closing the distance and the officer knew the male was going to assault him.

“The officer held up his hand and told the male to stop,” Welsh said. “The officer told the male to wait nearby while he spoke to the female. Instead of doing so, the male slapped the officer’s hand down and was immediately told he was under arrest. The male engaged in a physical fight with the officer, causing minor injuries and was eventually taken into custody when other officers arrived to assist.”

The male was identified as 29-year-old Keyland Lowe. At one point, Lowe placed the officer into a headlock and the officer became scared he would be rendered unconscious. The officer felt Lowe putting pressure on his head and he could not pull out of Lowe’s grasp. The officer got a two-inch laceration to his left cheek and another laceration to his left jaw line. The officer was eventually able to pry himself free from Lowe’s grasp.

Moments later, another officer arrived on scene. During this time, Lowe continued to refuse to cooperate by stiffening his arms, attempting to pull them free from officer’s grasp, and refused to be handcuffed willingly. They were eventually able to overcome his resistance and forced him into handcuffs. They assisted Lowe to his feet and began walking him to their patrol vehicles. Lowe turned toward one officer and spit directly into his chest, splattering his face.

Lowe was charged with felony assault on a peace officer, assault with a bodily fluid, resisting arrest, and disorderly conduct.

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