Missoula SWAT Responds for Man Who Threatened Poverello Staff
Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On January 24, 2023, at approximately 2:21 a.m., Missoula Police Department Officers were dispatched to the area of the Poverello Center for a report of a male being aggressive with a knife. The complainant had notified 911 that a male had threatened a staff member.
An officer arrived on the scene and made contact with the complainant and the staff member. The officer asked where the suspect had gone and the staff member said that he went north on Hawthorne Street and might have gone into "Scotty's Camper".
What Happened Inside the Poverello Center?
The staff member explained that the suspect, later identified as Billy Jameson Manywhitehorses, had gotten into a verbal altercation with a woman inside the Poverello Center. The staff member said that he got involved because the woman was telling Manywhitehorses to leave, but Manywhitehorses refused.
The staff member also said Manywhitehorses was not a guest of the Poverello Center and was not authorized to be inside the property. The staff member explained that the Poverello Center’s doors were locked for the night and it appeared that Manywhitehorses had slipped into the doorway before the door shut when a guest stepped outside.
The staff member reported that he intervened and told Manywhitehorses to leave. Manywhitehorses refused and elbowed the staff member in his chest and collarbone area. The staff member stated that Manywhitehorses started to head towards the back door, but then turned around and produced an approximately 5-inch-long knife. According to a witness, Manywhitehorses said, “I’ll get you when I see you” and then left.
Come Out With Your Hands Above Your Head
The officer then returned to the scene of the camper. Officers then began setting up a perimeter and calling out commands to the occupants of the camper over a loudspeaker. An officer instructed the individuals in the camper to slowly exit the rear door of the camper one at a time with their hands empty and above their heads.
At first, the occupants of the camper refused to exit. Eventually, however, two individuals exited one by one. One individual told officers that Manywhitehorses was still inside the camper. The officer reiterated verbal commands to Manywhitehorses, told him he was under arrest, and that he needed to exit the camper. Manywhitehorses continued to refuse the commands and never exited the camper.
Time for SWAT to Take Over
Eventually, after numerous attempts to have Manywhitehorses exit safely, Missoula SWAT arrived on the scene and began planning an extraction. Due to Manywhitehorses being barricaded within the structure of the camper, SWAT operators prepared a chemical munition plan. An extraction plan using OC/CS aerosol by hand-thrown munitions was approved and consented to by the owner of the camper.
According to court documents, an officer coordinated with other SWAT operators and approached the camper behind the cover of a ballistic shield. An OC Tri-Chamber flameless hand-thrown munition was deployed into the camper and took effect within minutes. Manywhitehorses was observed exiting the camper and was swiftly taken into custody.
Manywhitehorses is currently being charged with felony assault with a weapon, felony tampering with or fabricating physical evidence, and obstructing.
The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.