The Lake County Sheriff’s Department has been working on a case since last Wednesday, October 7,  when a daycare owner in Ronan was beaten by two people while trying to protect a child in her care. A man tried to access the daycare, but things became violent after the male was told to leave.

“The owner of the daycare recognized that the male was intoxicated and had been drinking alcohol,” said Lake County Sheriff Don Bell. “She started escorting him out when a fight ensued, at some point, he struck her with his fists and then the girlfriend ran up and struck the victim with a shovel… she had some pretty severe injuries.”

The daycare worker was successful in protecting the child. Though the Sheriff’s Department didn’t release a name of the victim, a gofundme page was created for Martha McClure, which describes the incident and asks for help in covering the cost of medical bills.

The male suspect, 31-year-old Francis Joseph Jackson, has been identified as a non-custodial parent of one of the children at the daycare, and now been arrested, largely because of the efforts of work of a detective that used to work for the CSKT tribal police.

“[Jackson] was arrested through investigation and tips and assistance from a law enforcement agent, an officer named Arlen Auld that used to work for the CSKT tribe here, he now works for the Kalispell Tribal police in Usk, Washington,” Bell said. “[Auld] got a tip of where Jackson might be, he got a search warrant, he executed that warrant and Mr. Jackson was arrested yesterday [October 12].”

The girlfriend that used the shovel has still not been located. The couple have been charged with simple assault, assault with a weapon, aggravated burglary, and custodial interference. Bell said there may be more charges once Jackson is returned to Montana, including a possible DUI.

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