Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On December 17, 2022, Missoula Police Department Officers were dispatched to a call regarding a male threatening a female with an axe at a bus stop. Dispatchers notified officers that the female victim walked from the bus stop to Target with the male following her with the axe.  

Surveillance videos from Target show that the victim went inside the store while the male, later identified as Ryan Salas, paced outside. The victim approached an employee and asked her to call 911. The employee and a manager described the victim as very frightened and scared. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold has more. 

“The caller, witnesses, and the victim all provided details the corroborated the crime,” Arnold said. “There were no physical injuries reported, but officers were able to gather statements from the victim and the witnesses, reviewed video surveillance, and recovered the weapon. Salas was transported to the Missoula County Detention Center and this case is still under investigation with the Missoula Police Department Detective Division.” 

Court documents indicate an officer contacted one witness at the bus station while looking for other victims. The witness stated that he observed an argument between the victim and Salas. The witness said Salas appeared to be the primary aggressor in an argument and saw Salas brandish the axe. The witness tried to intervene, but Salas turned on him and chased him with the axe for a short distance.  

The witness said he was in fear and thought that if Salas had gotten any closer, he would have had to defend himself. Video surveillance from the bus stop showed Salas advancing aggressively toward the witness with the axe, making the witness backpedal to get away from him. 

Salas was contacted outside Target by law enforcement and appeared to be under the influence of methamphetamine. A witness told officers that Salas had dropped the weapon nearby and it was later recovered. It was determined to be a garden hoe-type implement that strongly resembled an axe or hatchet. 

Salas is currently being charged with two counts of felony assault with a weapon. 

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

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