Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony Today

Montana’s law enforcement agencies invite you to honor those who have served, continue to serve, and most importantly those who lost their lives serving their community, as well as their survivors. The 2020 Law Enforcement Memorial will be available at https://youtu.be/ESvbZRgMLR8 starting at noon today.

Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony Tomorrow

We are a country built on the rule of law, and we are grateful to the men and women who enforce those laws and uphold the fairness and peace we treasure. Every year during National Police Week, Montana holds a memorial service for law enforcement officers who have lost their lives or been seriously injured in the line of duty. This is the twentieth year but due to our current situation, gathering in person isn’t possible. The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office lost Deputy Jake Allmendinger on October 19, 2019, so we will be coordinating the memorial to honor law enforcement this year.

The 2020 Montana Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony will be online tomorrow, May 15th, at 12:00-1:00 pm. Many Montana law enforcement agencies and our political leaders have contributed to this unique memorial ceremony. Although we are not together in person, nothing can prevent us from honoring those who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting our people and liberty. A special thank you to the surviving families for their love and strength. We hope you enjoy the 2020 Montana Law Enforcement Memorial video.

The link to view the video will be provided tomorrow morning.

GCSO Looking for Suspect

(Gallatin County, Mont) The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is seeking the public’s help in locating a suspect in a Sexual Intercourse Without Consent investigation.

Mitchell Scott Patterson has an active $100,000 warrant for his arrest for maintaining an ongoing sexual relationship with a 12-year-old child. Patterson has ties to Great Falls and Bozeman; Montana; Colorado Springs, Colorado; and Oakes, North Dakota. Suspect is pictured below.

Note his tattoo in the following photo:

Patterson is known to drive a 2002 Gold Ford Taurus with moderate front-end damage. This vehicle is known to bear Montana license plate 222831B. An example of a similar vehicle is shown below:

If citizens locate Patterson or his vehicle, they should call 911 immediately. Do not approach him.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office thanks the public for their cooperation in this matter.

Photos courtesy of Mitchell Patterson’s Facebook page.

Restaurant and Bar Closures

(Gallatin County, Mont) Gallatin City-County Health Officer Matt Kelley issued an order for all restaurants and bars to be closed effective tonight at 9:00 pm. He has requested assistance from the Sheriff’s Office with this closure. Sheriff Gootkin will be available to reporters tomorrow morning at 10:00 am in the Detention Center Community Room to answer any questions.

Unlucky Friday the 13th for Colorado Woman

(Gallatin County, Mont) At 11:59 this morning, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Deputies responded to a snowmobile crash near the Idaho/Montana border, approximately 9 miles southwest of West Yellowstone. The rider, a 45-year-old woman from Denver, Colorado, suffered multiple injuries after accidentally riding her snowmobile into a deep crevasse in the snow. She sustained possible broken wrists, broken ribs, and a broken nose when the snowmobile came to a sudden stop and ejected her over the handlebars.

Rescuers from the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone and Hebgen Basin Rural Fire District responded to assist with the search. The rescue team located the injured snowmobiler and escorted her safely to an awaiting Hebgen Basin ambulance, which then transported her to the Big Sky Medical Center for evaluation.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

West Yellowstone Snowmobile Injury

(Gallatin County, Mont.) Rescuers with Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search & Rescue in West Yellowstone and Hebgen Basin Fire Department assisted a snowmobiler who was injured in an incident near West Yellowstone.

At around 11:00 am on Friday February 28, 2020, a 22-year-old woman from Uruguay crashed her snowmobile and sustained a back and hip injury while snowmobiling on the Big Sky trail system, about 14 miles north of West Yellowstone. She missed a corner, went down an embankment, and crashed into a group of trees.

The initial caller’s cell phone would not allow dispatchers to accurately triangulate the location based on the 911 call. Another snowmobiler happened onto the scene and was able to provide GPS coordinates which allowed rescuers to respond very quickly to the exact location (44.8150,   -111.1068.)

Emergency responders reached the scene of the accident on snowmobiles with a specialized snow ambulance. The woman was placed on a backboard and loaded into the snow ambulance, then transported off the trail system to an awaiting ambulance from the Hebgen Basin Fire Department.  She was then transported by ambulance to the Big Sky Medical Center for further evaluation.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office

Cardiac Arrest Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont) On February 16, 2020, at 11:00 a.m., Gallatin County Dispatch received a call regarding a cardiac arrest. The caller was cross-country skiing on the groomed trails to the east of Bozeman Health Deaconess Hospital when he came across a woman performing CPR on a man.

Members of the Bozeman Fire Department and Bozeman Police Department responded to the call and were able to walk to the subject’s location. The location was not accessible with an ambulance, so Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue responded to the call. Multiple SAR members were at the SAR building and were able to respond immediately. SAR members used snowmobiles and a tracked four-wheeler pulling the ORION wagon to access the patient.

Despite the prompt deployment and response of SAR, medical, and law enforcement resources, the 66-year-old Belgrade man succumbed to a heart attack. Our condolences go out to the man’s family.

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The deceased man is Steve Schwab, a retired teacher at Bozeman High School.

Three Arrested on Homicide Charges

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On Wednesday, February 12, 2020, the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office arrested James Sasser Jr., Patricia Batts, and a juvenile male (uncle of the victim) for the offense of Deliberate Homicide. The charges are in reference to the death of 12-year-old James Alex Hurley outside of West Yellowstone, Montana, on or about February 3, 2020. The defendants’ initial appearances in Justice Court will be on February 13th at 10:30 am. The investigation is ongoing and Sheriff Gootkin can only comment on the information covered in the Affidavit of Probable Cause, which is public information.

Sheriff Gootkin will be available to talk to reporters at noon on Thursday, February 13, at the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Photo of James Hurley courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Buck Ridge Snowmobiler Rescue

(Gallatin County, Mont.) On February 9, 2020, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in Big Sky received a call from a snowmobiler who reported that he had possibly broken his leg up Buck Ridge. GPS coordinates from the 911 call placed him in McAtee Basin, which helped Search and Rescue members locate him quickly. Life Flight flew to his location and with the help of numerous other snowmobilers, the patient was loaded into the helicopter and flown to medical care. Because the snowmobiler had a charged cell phone and cell service, the rescue went quickly and efficiently.

Photo courtesy of Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office