Missoula, MT (KGVO-AM News) - On June 18, 2024, Missoula Police Department Officers were dispatched to the Walmart on Mullan Road after an employee reported that 35-year-old James Belisle was inside the store after he had previously been trespassed on June 8.

While en route, the officer was provided updated information that Belisle had placed unpaid merchandise into his backpack and was leaving the store without paying for the items. The officer made contact with the Walmart employee who stated Belisle had exited the side door and refused to stop. 

The officer made contact with Belisle and yelled out “Hey, Police, stop”. Belisle glanced back but continued to walk. The officer continued to ask Belisle to stop walking, to which Belisle replied, “What is it?” Belisle then placed his hands in his pockets and the officer asked him to take them out. The officer reached to remove Belisle’s hands, but Belisle pulled his arm away and stated “You can’t arrest me”.  

Then the officer asked Belisle to sit down, but he did not comply and again placed his hands in his pockets. The officer again requested Belisle remove his hands. Belisle nodded his head “No” and said, “I’m walking”. Belisle began walking away again. The officer grabbed his left wrist and told him to stop and sit down. Belisle finally complied but continued trying to pull his hand away from the officer.  

The officer told Belisle to take off his backpack so he could be handcuffed, but he refused. At this time, another officer arrived on scene and she assisted in placing Belisle into handcuffs. 

Walmart employees also provided the officer with a report showing that Belisle had also come into the store the day prior and stole $24.57 worth of merchandise. The employee said Belisle had caused recurring issues for them and this was the fourth theft in the month of June that Belisle had committed. The receipt the employee provided the officer for 6/18/24, stated six items had been stolen for a total dollar amount of $28.86. 

READ MORE: Missoula News – Crime Reports 

Belisle declined consent to search his backpack, so it was seized and logged into evidence. During his search incident to arrest, officers found two Rice Krispie treats in his pockets which were reported to have been stolen from Walmart that day. Additionally, they found a clear glass methamphetamine pipe and a plastic tooter straw in his pockets. 

Belisle is currently being charged with felony burglary, obstructing a peace officer, and criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.  

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

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