NewsMontana and Regional News


Officers talk man down from top of fuel storage tank in Bozeman

The man is currently in custody; there is no word yet on whether charges may be filed.
Posted at 9:29 PM, Sep 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-09-23 16:46:42-04

BOZEMAN — First responders were called when a man was spotted on top of a fuel storage tank at Story Distributing off East Griffin in Bozeman.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office said the man was in an "unstable frame of mind" early Sunday evening when they found him.

First responders were able to use negotiation techniques to get the man down from the tank.

He was then restrained and sent to Bozeman Health for an evaluation.

The Gallatin County Sheriff’s Office says nobody was injured and there were no damages done to the facility.

But the hazardous materials on the scene gave first responders serious concern.

The Bozeman Police Department and the Bozeman Fire Department were also on the scene.

The man is currently in custody; there is no word yet on whether charges may be filed.

(UPDATE-SEPTEMBER 23) On Sunday evening, Gallatin County Sheriff's deputies took Neal Scott Fairchild into custody after he was found on top of a seven-story container at a fuel storage facility in Bozeman. Now, the man faces charges for trespassing, obstructing a peace officer, and resisting arrest.

Fairchild, 43 years old, appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday, where his bail was set at $1,500.

According to court documents, around 6 p.m. Sunday deputies spotted Fairchild standing on top of a container at the Phillips 66 Products Terminal on West Griffin Drive. The reporting deputy said he estimated the container to be approximately seven stories tall.

Deputies reportedly asked Fairchild to come down numerous times, which he refused to do. Court documents say he eventually came down to retrieve a bottle of water he had requested.

Fairchild was allegedly holding a box over his head as though he intended to throw it at the deputies. The reporting deputy said he aimed his Taser at Fairchild and told him to drop the box and get on the ground.

The deputy said Fairchild complied but refused to place his hands behind his back, resisting arrest by curling up and clenching his arms against his chest. Deputies said they had to pull Fairchild's arms behind his back to place him in handcuffs.

Court documents say Bozeman police arrived on scene to assist and, as Fairchild continued to resist officers, they placed him in a restraint; he was then taken to Bozeman Deaconess Hospital for evaluation. He was medically cleared and then taken to the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Fairchild faces up to six months in jail for each charge. His next court appearance is set for October 11.