LaFountain charged with assaulting store employee and Great Fall - KXLH.com | Helena, Montana

LaFountain charged with assaulting store employee and Great Falls police officer

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Tyron Duane LaFountain (Cascade County jail booking photo) Tyron Duane LaFountain (Cascade County jail booking photo)

Tyron Duane LaFountain is facing several criminal charges after he allegedly assaulted several people while attempting to shoplift at K-Mart in Great Falls.

A probable cause affidavit says that police officers were dispatched to K-Mart on Tuesday after receiving a report that a store employee had been assaulted by a shoplifter (later identified as LaFountain).

A responding officer saw LaFountain running through the parking lot; the officer got out of his patrol car and began chasing him, ordering him to stop.

LaFountain eventually stopped, turned, and confronted the officer "in a threatening manner as if he was going to attack" the officer, according to the affidavit. The officer shoved him to the ground, and LaFountain reportedly "stiffened up" and attempted to resist being arrested. 

The affidavit says that LaFountain spit in the officer's face and screamed that he was going to kill the officer.

After the arrest, store employees told officers that LaFountain had come into the store carrying a box that was wrapped up in a black jacket. Employees monitored LaFountain's activity in the store, and he held the box above his head when he tried to walk out the door in an apparent effort to avoid triggering a store alarm.

The affidavit says that three store employees confronted LaFountain just inside the exit doors, and they told police that LaFountain became belligerent and hit one of them in the face with his fist, and then ran out of the store.

The employees followed him outside and demanded that he stop, but he continued walking away.

As one employee got close, LaFountain reportedly dropped the box and brandished a "blue, metal flashlight/stun device" about 10 inches long, and then hit the employee in the head with it, and began running away again. The employee sustained an abrasion and swelling.

That was the point at which police arrived and apprehended LaFountain.

The merchandise inside the box was inspected and determined to have come from Walmart; a call to a Walmart manager confirmed that the clothing and food items in the box had come indeed come from Walmart.

LaFountain is charged with felony robbery, felony assault with a weapon, felony intimidation, and the following misdemeanors: resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer or other public servant, assault with a bodily fluid, and theft.

The affidavit says that LaFountain has convictions for felony theft, obstructing a peace officer, and domestic violence.

Prosecutors requested that bond for LaFountain be set at $50,000, noting that although he has a "minimal" criminal history, his "violence toward community members and police makes him a danger to the community."

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