LIVINGSTON — The Park County Sheriff says his deputies, as well as officers from at least three surrounding counties, are still looking for Jordon Earl Linde, who they believe is armed and dangerous after he overpowered a detention center officer and stole his sidearm and two vehicles.
It started at the Park County Detention Center on Saturday, July 24, when deputies say they arrested Linde for possession of opiates/meth, drug paraphernalia, and intent to distribute charges.
Linde was taken to the hospital in Livingston for a check-up on his health. Park County Sheriff Brad Bichler said that once at the hospital, Linde turned on the officer, taking his handgun and the keys to the detention center van.
Then Linde took off, driving toward Interstate 90 and up Highway 89 north.
“(He) should be considered to be armed and dangerous,” says Sheriff Bichler. “We don’t know that he is in the area or not right now. We feel that he is probably not. However, that being said, we don’t know for sure.”
“The van was recovered, as well as we did recover his jail uniform shirt so he will not be wearing the jail uniform shirt so highly likely that he is in civilian attire at this point,” Bichler says. “He was being medically evaluated for an issue that we felt could be potentially life-threatening for him, so that’s why we took him to the hospital to ensure that, even though he is an inmate, we absolutely have to ensure the inmate’s safety.”
Part of the conversation at the department in the wake of this incident: what can be done to prevent something like it from happening again?
“It does make you take a look at what you could do better or what can we do better to make this a situation [something that] doesn’t happen at all,” Bichler said.
He continued, “From my standpoint as the sheriff, I like to think that our policies are very well-written and our practices are done well and, for the most part, they really are but then you have something like this that happens and it dictates policy. You just have to go back and look at that and say, 'Okay, these are some things that we are going to have to change because of this one incident.'”
The sheriff says his deputy, fortunately, only sustained minor injuries. “He’s with his family today,” Bichler says. “Shook up, but doing well.”
As of Monday afternoon, Linde is believed to driving a stolen gold-colored model year 2000 Chrysler Town and Country minivan with Montana license plate 49-6627D.
Bichler stressed that Linde is likely armed and should be considered dangerous.
If you see Linde, do not approach him or try to apprehend him. Call the Park County Sheriff’s Office at 406-222-2050, or call 911.