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LibbyMt.com > News > September 2008 > Judge settles domestic dispute at gunpoint

Kootenai Valley Record. Photo by Kootenai Valley Record.
Kootenai Valley Record
Judge settles domestic dispute at gunpoint
by Brent Shrum, Kootenai Valley Record
September 2, 2008

A brief but violent domestic dispute last week at the Libby justice court office ended with Justice of the Peace Gary Hicks subduing a disgruntled father at gunpoint and police responding to arrest the man on misdemeanor charges.

Adam Large, 29, was arrested by Libby police on charges of partner/family member assault, misdemeanor assault and disorderly conduct following the Tuesday afternoon incident at the county annex building on Mineral Avenue.

Arresting officer Brent Teske reported that he responded to the annex at 1:18 p.m. following a report of a disturbance. Teske wrote in his report that he arrived to find a pickup truck parked "half in a no parking spot and half in the roadway, as if someone stopped fast and bailed out." When he entered the court office, he found a woman and her children cowering in a corner and Large on his knees with his hands up.

Hicks said he was in his office when he heard "brakes screaming, making a lot of noise." He exited his office through a door facing Mineral Avenue, but by the time he got outside Large had already entered the building and vaulted over the counter into the office where the mother of his children had been applying for a restraining order against him, Hicks said.

Hicks came inside through the main entrance to find that Large had backed the single clerk working in the office, along with the woman and their two young children, into the judge’s chambers. In the process, Large struck the mother of his children in the jaw and pushed the clerk as she attempted to stay between him and the children, Teske reported.

Large claimed that the kids were being kidnapped by their mother and that he was supposed to have custody, Hicks said.

"My main concern was that I had a wild, yelling, screaming guy," he said.

Hicks said he didn’t know if Large was armed or what his intentions were. Hicks drew a concealed handgun, for which he holds a permit, and pointed it at Large, telling him to get on his knees and put his hands on his head.

"It defused the situation rapidly," Hicks said.

Hicks said he put the gun away after Large complied with his order. He credited the clerk, Chrystal Stacy – who was on temporary assignment from the justice court in Eureka – with remaining calm and doing what she could to protect the woman and her children.

"She was very level-headed through the whole thing," Hicks said. "A lot of clerks would have panicked and run into the other room."

Editor’s Note: See the September 1, 2008 edition of the Kootenai Valley Record for the printed version of this story. The Kootenai Valley Record publishes once a week, on Monday, in Libby, Montana. They are a locally owned community newspaper, located at 403 Mineral Avenue in Libby. For in-county and out-of-county subscription information, call 406-293-2424, or e-mail kvrecord@gmail.com.

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