HELENA — Bryan Arvidson, arrested after a weekend standoff with law enforcement in the Helena Valley, made his first court appearance on Monday in Lewis & Clark County Justice Court.
Arvidson is charged with criminal endangerment, assault on a peace officer, and obstructing a peace officer. He is accused of firing at a law enforcement vehicle during a standoff at his home late Friday night and early Saturday morning.
According to court documents, a Lewis & Clark County Sheriff’s deputy responded to the area of Strandberg Drive at around 7:45 p.m. Friday, after a neighbor said he believed someone was firing a gun toward his home.
Arvidson reportedly had informed the dispatch center that he was going to be shooting a gun in the area, and that he admitted firing a shotgun and a handgun at the ground but denied he had fired toward any of his neighbors’ residences.
According to the documents, the deputy told Arvidson he didn’t have enough safety measures in place to prevent a ricochet, so there was at least a threat to nearby livestock. They say Arvidson agreed not to fire his guns until he took more steps for safety.
At about 9:50 p.m., documents say multiple neighbors called the dispatch center to report more gunshots from Arvidson’s residence, and one reported hearing BBs hitting her home. They say the deputy called Arvidson to ask if he was shooting again, and he said he was and could do so until 10 p.m. The deputy heard gunshots and decided to detain Arvidson for criminal endangerment because of the risk he was posing to neighbors.
Members of the Lewis & Clark County-Helena crisis negotiator team came to Arvidson’s home and began speaking to him over the phone. They say he made threatening comments to negotiators and refused to disarm.
Documents say the negotiators told Arvidson they would be bringing in a SWAT team and an armored vehicle. When the vehicle arrived at his door, they say he came out holding a shotgun and pistol. They say officers tried to stop him by shooting him in the leg with a non-lethal round, but he went back into the house and began firing back at the vehicle – hitting it twice.
Other people within the house were able to leave safely around 5 a.m. Saturday, but Arvidson remained inside. Documents say the SWAT team used flash-bang grenades and were about to use gas when he came out unarmed and officers arrested him.
The court set Arvidson’s bail at $200,000.