Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On May 5, 2023, Dispatch advised officers of the Missoula Police Department that they received a call about a male in the parking lot of REI. The reporting party stated that the male had just pulled a knife on him and then walked into TJ Maxx.

Officers spoke with the reporting party, identified as SR, who stated that he was walking towards his vehicle in the parking lot and saw a male, later identified as Ryan Wyatt, walking towards him. SR noticed that Wyatt was acting strangely and was yelling loudly.

The Victim Thought He Might Get Stabbed

SR said Wyatt got close to him, got into his face aggressively, and yelled “Whacha gonna do a**hole?” SR said Wyatt then raised his hand with what SR believed to be an ice pick. SR stated that he was within 16 inches of Wyatt and that he thought that Wyatt was going to stab him in his abdomen. SR articulated that he was in fear for his safety. 

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According to court documents, SR told officers that he was carrying a concealed firearm in his waistband. When Wyatt approached him, SR grabbed his gun and prepared to draw his weapon in preparation to defend himself. However, SR did not ultimately draw the weapon, but he said he was prepared to use it.  

Another shopper exited TJ Maxx and told officers that there was a male inside of the store yelling profanities and waving a sharp object around. When officers entered the store, Wyatt dropped some items in his hand and exited the store.  

Wyatt Refuses Officer's Commands

Officers could see a metal spike-looking object, similar to an ice pick, in Wyatt’s right hand. Wyatt was ordered to stop walking away and to drop what he had in his hand, however, he continued to walk away while refusing commands. 

Court documents indicate an officer drew his department-issued conducted energy weapon and pointed it at Wyatt and told him that if he did not comply, he would be tased. Wyatt did not drop the object, but he laid prone in the parking lot. Upon closer inspection, the object in Wyatt’s hand was determined to be metal tent pegs that had a point that could cause bodily harm.  

SR positively identified the tent pegs as the object that he was threatened with. The manager of TJ Maxx informed officers that the items that Wyatt dropped in the doorway were a backpack and two hats. They also believed that Wyatt had a bottle of cologne in his pocket when he exited the store. Officers located a bottle of cologne in Wyatt’s pocket when he was searched incident to arrest. The bottle was brand new and had a TJ Maxx price tag on it. 

Wyatt was placed under arrest and transported to the Missoula County Detention Center. Wyatt is currently being charged with felony assault with a weapon and misdemeanor theft. On May 9, 2023, Wyatt made his initial appearance in Missoula Justice Court and his bond was set at $25,000. 

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

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