Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Domestic disturbance escalates into armed standoff

by Lake County Leader
| April 11, 2024 12:00 AM

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office called in the Flathead County SWAT team to assist with a domestic disturbance that turned into an armed standoff Saturday evening.

According to Sheriff Don Bell, Lake County 911 received a report of a domestic violence incident at around 6:45 p.m. April 6 at a residence on Kerr Dam Road. The victim had left the residence, and a relative called police after seeing the victim’s injuries.

Deputies responded at around 7:30 p.m. and reached out to the suspect, 63-year-old Rick Riebe. According to the police report, Riebe immediately threatened to shoot officers. He then barricaded himself in the house and continued threatening to shoot officers who were trying to deescalate the situation.

At one point, Riebe left the house armed with a shotgun, and then returned, once again barricading himself inside. Officers attempted to negotiate with Riebe, but say he refused attempts to resolve the matter peacefully.

The Flathead County SWAT team was summoned and arrived on the scene around 10:30 p.m. Negotiations with the suspect continued for another hour, at which point chemical agents were deployed inside the house to try to force Riebe to exit.

According to the sheriff’s report, Riebe began firing his shotgun and a rifle “at various locations where officers were present,” although no one was injured. Officers refrained from returning fire, “due to not knowing his exact location in the home.”

About 15 minutes later, Riebe emerged from the house and was subdued by a police dog. He was booked into the Lake County jail on an outstanding warrant, charges of partner or family member assault and causing bodily injury to a family fember with a weapon, assault on an officer, and criminal endangerment. He’s being held on a $25,000 bond, with other charges pending.

Attempted jail escape

The Lake County Sheriff’s Department also reported that an attempted jail break occurred last Friday, April 5, at around 7 p.m.

Two inmates in the Lake County Jail assaulted a Lake County detention officer and attempted to escape after gaining control of the officer’s keys.

Another officer was able to secure the inmates, and additional county deputies and Polson Police officers responded to help quell further disturbances in the jail and lock all inmates down.

According to a report from the Sheriff’s Office, an investigation is ongoing and criminal charges are under review by the Lake County Attorney.

Sheriff Bell extended his gratitude to the Flathead SWAT team and other law enforcement agencies who helped with Saturday’s "dangerous incident," and to Polson Police for their assistance with last Friday’s attempted escape.