At around 9:30 p.m. on February 6, 2022, Missoula Police Department Officers were dispatched to a report of an assault in the area of Hillview Way and Clearview Way. MPD Detective Lieutenant Eddie McLean explains.

“The assault reportedly occurred while the victim was giving two other males a ride in his vehicle,” McLean said. “The victim’s vehicle reportedly skidded on ice. At that point, the two males who he was giving a ride to began yelling at him and hitting him in the head. The victim stopped his car and all parties exited the vehicle. The two suspects continued assaulting the victim outside the car.”

According to court documents, the victim was at a friend’s house when the two males came over. The two males, the friend, and the victim left in the victim’s car to get food. During the drive, the two males hit the victim repeatedly in the back of his head after the victim refused to let the males drive.

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“One of the suspects, later identified as Christopher Maldonado, exited the vehicle and reportedly raised a hammer threatening the victim,” McLean said. “The victim retreated and was reportedly in fear of his life. This was witnessed by a fourth party who was in the vehicle as well when all of this occurred.”

The witness was identified as the victim’s friend and she corroborated the victim’s statement. She said Maldonado had a hammer and was acting like he was going to hit the victim with it.

“The victim was able to separate himself from the suspects and drove off,” McLean said. “Responding officers located two males sitting on the sidewalk on Hillview Way that matched the description of the suspects. They confirmed the identity of both males. After obtaining all the statements and additional evidence, Maldonado was arrested for assault with a weapon.”

The second male suspect was arrested for misdemeanor assault. During the arrest, an officer asked Maldonado if he had any weapons on his person and Maldonado confessed to having a hammer by his waistline. It was later determined that Maldonado had two active felony warrants.

Maldonado is currently being charged with felony assault with a weapon, misdemeanor assault, and obstructing a peace officer.

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

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