GREAT FALLS — Edward Hardy was arrested Wednesday in Polson after a woman reported she was being held against her will at the Bellevue Trailer Court.
According to a news release from the Polson Police Department, the woman called for help at around 6:30 p.m. and said that Hardy was holding her against her will, and that he had fired several gunshots inside the trailer.
Officers established a perimeter around the residence and tried to contact the people inside. Officers could hear Hardy barricading the doors and windows. Other officers began evacuating nearby trailer homes.
Phone contact was made with the occupants and an officer was able to negotiate the release of the woman; there are on indications that she was injured during the incident.
Hardy then began setting debris on fire and throwing it out a window of the trailer.
Just as the SWAT Team was about to make contact, Hardy came out of the trailer by crawling through a window and tried to escape by getting into his vehicle. Hardy was taken into custody after being Tased by an officer.
“This was the best-case scenario as nobody was seriously hurt during this incident and that the hostage was released," said Polson Police Chief Wade Nash.
A search of Hardy’s residence turned up firearms, a cache of ammo, and numerous other weapons.
Hardy is facing a charge of aggravated assault with a weapon, and other charges may be filed.
Several agencies assisted with the incident, including the Northwest Montana Regional SWAT Team, the Kalispell Special Response Team, the Lake County Sheriff’s Office, the Montana Highway Patrol, and the Flathead Tribal Police