Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On September 30, 2023, a University of Montana Police officer was working security at the Griz football game in Missoula. At approximately 4:40 p.m., the UM officer was approached by an Events employee. The Events employee appeared upset and was visibly shaking. She reported that she had made contact with a male who was vaping in the stadium.  

The Events employee had approached the male and advised him he was not allowed to vape in the stadium. She reported the male became very aggressive towards her and asked who she was, and whether she was “[his] Lord and Savior.” The Events employee was afraid the male was going to make physical contact with her. The Events employee pointed him out to the UM officer when he exited the bathroom and began walking south. 

The UM officer approached the male, touched the back of his arm, and asked him to stop. The male immediately said, “Don’t f*****g touch me” and asked, “Who the f**k are you?” The UM officer identified herself and requested the male’s identification. The male protested, became aggressive, and continued to spew profanities.  

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The Male Suspect Continues to be Combative 

The male provided his credit card and Montana ID and began advancing toward the UM officer in an aggressive manner. He was identified as 39-year-old Derek Pearce. The UM officer placed her hand on his chest and told him to step back. The UM officer was concerned that Pearce was going to push or strike her.  

A Safety Enforcement Team member then approached and heard Pearce threaten to “kick the UM officer’s a**” and Pearce began using profane language towards him and threatened to “kick [his] f*****g a**.” According to court documents, Pearce clenched his fists and assumed an aggressive, fighting posture.  

A Seargent then approached and grabbed Pearce’s right arm. Pearce then turned aggressively towards the sergeant and swung at him. The Seargent sustained a glancing blow to his face which caused his glasses to fall to the side of his face. The officers then took Pearce to the ground. Pearce continued to fight with the officers and moved his arms under his body to prevent officers from handcuffing him. 

Pearce Kicks the UM Officer 

Officers brought Pearce to his feet and began escorting him to the elevator. Pearce stated he was going to find out where the officers lived and “kick [their] a**es.” Pearce also said he would find out where the officers lived and would hurt them. 

The UM officer was walking in front of the officers escorting Pearce and was recording a video of Pearce. The UM officer was walking backwards facing Pearce when he kicked her aggressively in her right arm, causing immediate pain. 

Officers removed a purple vape pen from Pearce’s pocket when patting him down incident to arrest. Pearce’s blood alcohol content returned at 0.144.  

Pearce was transported to the Missoula County Detention Facility. He is currently being charged with felony assault on a peace officer, disorderly conduct, and resisting arrest. 

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

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