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Polson man accused of police standoff pleads not guilty

by Jeff Smith/For the Leader
| May 9, 2024 12:00 AM

Judge Molly Owen set a trial date of Sept. 30 for a Polson man who allegedly barricaded himself inside his home and fired shots at law enforcement officers before he was taken into custody.

Ricky Scott Riebe, 63, entered a plea of not guilty in Polson District Court May 1 to misdemeanor charges of partner or family assault and obstructing a peace officer, and seven felony counts of assault on a peace officer.

According to court records and a press release issued by Lake County Sheriff Don Bell, on April 6, at about 6:45 p.m., Lake County 911 dispatchers received a call stating that a domestic disturbance had taken place on Kerr Dam Rd. The report was made by a relative of the alleged victim who was en route to an area hospital.

The victim told the responding officers that she tried to wake Riebe up, and when he did wake up, he began to argue with her. She said he grabbed a bottle of vodka and struck her on the top of the head with it.

She said she asked Riebe why he was beating her to which he replied, “Just shut up.”

She stated that Riebe punched her with closed fists and got on top of her and that she couldn’t breathe. The officers observed marks under her eyes, dried blood under her right eye and left index finger. The officers also observed that her temple area appeared swollen and bruised as was her chin and right forearm. She also indicated that the top of her head hurt.

Lake County officers responded to the residence at about 7:30 to arrest Riebe for partner or family member assault. The officers knocked on the door and say Riebe refused to answer and stated, “I will defend myself and you will get shot.”

The officers called for back-up, which came from Polson, Ronan and St. Ignatius police, and eventually from the Flathead County SWAT Team, which arrived with two armored vehicles. Negotiations continued until about 11:30 p.m. when chemical agent (cold gas) munitions were deployed inside the home.

According to court records, Riebe then began firing rounds at officers’ positions. Several of the them said they could hear bullets fling past or impacting near them. Several shots were also fired at the two armored units. Officers never returned fire.

As the officers were about to deploy more chemical agents inside the home, Riebe exited the residence and was subdued by a K-9 unit.

Judge Molly Owen denied the defendant’s request to be released on his own recognizance, but did agree to lower the bond from $1,000,000 to $250,000.