Great One Rescue

Wednesday was a busy day for Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue. Late morning, a mutual aid call came in from Stillwater County; Two Bear Air was in the Bozeman area for a meeting with local SAR teams and was diverted to Stillwater.

Shortly after noon, Dispatch received a call about a man who had fallen while skiing the Great One and hurt himself in the slide. Search and Rescue teams and a helicopter contracted with SAR responded. The SAR helicopter transported the man to an AMR ambulance waiting at the bottom. Another skier was unable to get down safely and was given a ride to the bottom.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind everyone that even experienced skiers can get into trouble on the Great One. Both skiers made good decisions in asking for help. If you plan to ski the Great One, don’t go before 11 am, to give it time to soften up enough to get an edge. Hike up the run to check conditions so you know what you are getting into. Always ski with at least one other person who can call for help.

Photos courtesy of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office.

Injury from Horse Wreck Sends Indiana Woman on a Helicopter Ride

(West Yellowstone, Mont.) On June 26, at 2:46 p.m., West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a call reporting a horseback rider had been injured when she was thrown at Lower Whits Lake 10 miles north of West Yellowstone.

Rescuers from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone, Montana Fish Wildlife and Parks, Hebgen Basin Fire Department and a helicopter from Air Idaho responded.

Based on the reported injuries along with an initial assessment by a Gallatin County Deputy, the decision was made to launch a helicopter. Meanwhile, a second ground team responded with a wheeled litter. The helicopter was unable to land at the immediate scene and chose a second landing zone a short distance away. A third team responded to the second landing zone and led the Air Idaho Medical Team to the patient’s location.

The injured rider, a 37 year old female from Indiana, appeared to be in an extreme pain and was complaining of neck, back, shoulder and head pain. The Air Idaho medic was able to administer pain medication before the patient was packaged onto the wheeled litter. Rescuers then transported the patient the short distance to the Air Idaho helicopter that then transported her to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for evaluation.

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind people on horseback adventures in Montana’s backcountry should keep an eye out for hazards such as unsecured gear or belongings that can suddenly fall causing your horse to react. Horseback riding can be very enjoyable and safe but always consider that the horse has a mind of its own.  Photos courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office.

Scams Circulating Gallatin County

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received a number of complaints from citizens regarding various phone scams that are circulating the area.

One scam involves a caller informing people who answer that they have criminal charges pending and to send money for these charges to be dropped. The scammer informs the person to call a number and arrange payment.  These callers are intimidating, convincing, and persistent. Please do not respond to their requests.

The second type of scam involves callers impersonating an Amazon Account representative claiming that there is an issue with the order they placed. The caller asks the person for specific account details and credit card information. Do not give any information they ask for. If you have an Amazon account, and you want to make sure the call is legitimate, call Amazon directly from the number on your statement. Do not call the number the impersonator gives you.

Another scam involves callers impersonating Medicare representatives from the “Pain Relief Department” requesting personal information such as your date of birth, your social security #, etc. Again, this is a scam, do not give the caller any information. If you receive Medicare and you want to make sure the call is legitimate, call the number from your Medicare card. Do not call the number the scammer gives you.

Another scam involves a person impersonating a relative such as a grandson, niece, etc. The caller states they are in jail and need money for bond. The caller advices them that their attorney will call them after they hang up and arrange for the payment of the bond. Again, this is a scam do not give them any information or send any money in any form.

Fall on the M Trail

At 2:30 on Friday June 15, Gallatin County Dispatch received a report that an 84-year-old man had fallen on the M trail and needed medical assistance. He was half a mile up from the parking lot and could not walk out on his own. Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched with a Deputy SAR Coordinator. AMR ambulance and Bridger Canyon Fire Dept responded as well. The man was quickly reached by rescuers and found to have numerous  cuts and abrasions, especially to his head. He was assessed, packaged on the one-wheel litter, and carried down to the ambulance for transport to Bozeman Health. The exact extent of the man’s injuries is not known at this time.

Sheriff Brian Gootkin reminds everyone that accidents can happen in the mountains, even near town, and that it takes longer to get help. Always be prepared to stay out longer than expected.

That night, the swiftwater team of the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue was dispatched to assist Park County.

Unclear Arrangements Lead to Short Search in West Yellowstone Area

(Gallatin County, Mont.)

On June 6, 2018 at approximately 11:26 a.m., West Yellowstone Police Department Dispatch received a call from a female reporting that her husband was overdue from a hiking trip up Beaver Creek north of West Yellowstone. The caller indicated that she hadn’t spoken to her husband for approximately 28  hours and that he had failed to check in with her at the agreed upon contact time.

The hiker was likely in the area of Minnie Lake in the Beaver Creek drainage, which is approximately 10 miles northwest of West Yellowstone. A deputy was able to locate the hiker’s vehicle at the Minnie Lake trailhead however was unable to establish whether the hiker had spent the night at that location.

Due to the failing to contact his wife and the inability to establish an accurate timeframe, the decision was made to conduct a hasty search of the area. Rescuers from the Sheriff’s Search and Rescue in West Yellowstone and a helicopter from Air Idaho responded to assist with the search.

While conducting the hasty search, the hiker, a 60-year-old male from Sisters Oregon, was located and found to be healthy and uninjured. The hiker indicated that he did not have cell reception to make contact with his wife at the pre-determined time however planned on doing so later in the day

Gallatin County Sheriff Brian Gootkin would like to remind people enjoying the backcountry that it is always advisable to recreate with a partner and let someone know exactly where you are going. It is also important to follow through with any pre-arranged plans to avoid friends and family becoming concerned about your safety.

Sheriff’s Office Seeks Public’s Help in Locating Suspects

Brian M. Gootkin
Sheriff/Coroner

Dan Springer
Undersheriff

Randy Jones
Chaplain

615 South 16th
Bozeman, Montana 59715
(406) 582-2100
FAX (406) 582-2126

June 6, 2018

Sheriff’s Office Seeks Help in Locating Suspects

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating individuals involved in damaging property on Axtell Anceney Road near Gallatin Gateway, on the afternoon of Tuesday June 5th.
The suspects are described as: three individuals in a late 90’s model White, GMC or Chevrolet Suburban type vehicle, with Montana 6-county license plates, with a generic Blue background.
The driver was described as being in his late teens to early 20’s with almost shoulder length hair and a blue or green “406” tattoo on the inside of his right bicep. This male may have a scar or small injury under his left eye.
The other two males with the driver are believed to be possibly teenagers.

If anyone has any information about an individual matching the above description, please contact the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office at (406) 582-2100 or Crimestoppers at (406) 586-1131

Computer Scams hitting the Bozeman area

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office has received numerous calls of a scam involving pop-up advertisements or articles on victim’s computers. Once the victim clicks on the pop-up, a message will appear that tells the victim that their computer has viruses and to call the phone number shown to avoid damage or data loss from the viruses.  When the victim calls the phone number, a person will answer and claim to be from a computer repair company, with many different company names being used that sound legitimate.  The person will demand remote access to the victim’s computer.  The person will then demand banking or credit card information in order to pay for the “repairs.”  Victims will be charged up to $8,000, as the scammers will move money in and out of accounts, sometimes saying the money is from other customers’ payments and will help to pay for the software needed to fix the victim’s computer.  If the victim stops allowing the money transfers, the scammers will lock the computer or otherwise disable it, so that it has to be professionally repaired.

These scammers are aggressive, convincing and persistent. They will call multiple times in an hour, keeping the victim confused about the status of the computer and the money that is being transferred out of the victim’s accounts.  Sometimes the scammers will request that the victim purchase gift cards or money transfers and provide the numbers to the scammers.

The Sheriff’s Office wants people to be aware of this scam. If you are contacted by these scammers, do not send them money and do not allow them access to your computer as they can attach harmful spyware and malware to your computer.

Hiker Rescued in Hyalite

(Gallatin County Mont.)

On Sunday, June 3rd, 2018, at 6:24 PM, Gallatin County Sheriff’s Search and Rescue,  Hyalite Fire Department, and an American Medical Response (AMR) ambulance responded to a backcountry rescue.  A 58-year-old female visiting from Florida slipped while hiking near Palisade Falls near the southern end of Hyalite Canyon.  The slip caused a severe injury to one of her ankles, preventing her from being able to put any weight on it.  Other hikers in the area had to hike back to the trailhead and drive out of Hyalite Canyon to get enough cell phone service to call for help.

Rescuers hiked to the injured woman and provided first aid then used a specialized wheeled litter to transport her to the trailhead.  The AMR ambulance transported the woman to Bozeman Health Hospital.

Sheriff Gootkin said, “Our back yard is backcountry, a relatively simple injury on the M or up Hyalite becomes more complicated sometimes than just hobbling to the car and driving to urgent care.  Get out and be active, that’s one of the cool things about living here but make sure and be prepared.”

Photo courtesy of the Sheriff’s Office

Yellowstone Club Threat

On May 30, 2018 the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office was made aware of a concerning graffiti message left in a portable bathroom located at a Yellowstone Club Core Village construction site. The message read, “Job site shooting 5/31/18 lunch bring family.” Yellowstone Club Security advised the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office of the threat and their concerns.

On May 31 the Sheriff’s Office assigned deputies along with Montana Highway Patrol to the Yellowstone Club to assist Yellowstone Club Security with maintaining a higher level of alertness. The Yellowstone Club gave its employees the day off and construction crews were given the choice to stay home or work. The employees who showed up for work worked a half day and the day went without incident.

It is currently unknown who wrote the message but the Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to work with the Yellowstone Club Security in identifying the author.

Sheriff Gootkin wants to remind everyone that all threats of violence are taken seriously. If you see something, say something.