Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

One charged, four arrested after assault on Missoula minor

At least one charge has been filed and more may follow in what Missoula authorities said was a "brutal" assault against a minor last Friday.

Police say the 16-year-old victim was lured into a Lower Rattlesnake neighborhood home where he was subjected to what they said was a "heinous" beating by fellow teenagers.

Missoula Deputy County Attorney Justin Ekwall told Montana Public Radio the victim suffered significant injuries.

“The victim has been diagnosed with a concussion. He also had an injury to his groin. The charging documents reference an ultrasound that was going to look at possible testicular damage.”

Ekwall says six 15-year-old boys played at least some role in the assault.

“There were at least three that definitely threw punches or kicks or chokeholds, and possibly more than that were even involved to that extent,” Ekwall said.

The juveniles also allegedly used racial slurs against the victim who is half Samoan.

Court documents filed this week suggest the victim dating one of the suspect’s ex-girlfriends may have played a role in the alleged assault.

Four boys have been arrested. Two are out on bond. The remaining two were in custody at the Missoula County Jail as of Wednesday afternoon. One faces a single count of accountability to aggravated assault.

Authorities said it’s unlikely any of the 15-year-olds will be charged as adults.

Ekwall said this is a rapidly evolving case. More arrests and charges are possible. Those decisions are expected by week’s end or early next week.

Edward O’Brien first landed at Montana Public Radio three decades ago as a news intern while attending the UM School of Journalism. He covers a wide range of stories from around the state.  
(406) 243-4065
Become a sustaining member for as low as $5/month
Make an annual or one-time donation to support MTPR
Pay an existing pledge or update your payment information