GREAT FALLS – Benjamin Tucker Staples has been charged in Great Falls with felony intimidation, and misdemeanor criminal mischief (attempted).
Staples captured the attention of many people in Great Falls on Saturday, when he began a three-day long stint on the thin ice of the Missouri River.
Staples was taken into custody on Monday at 6:15 p.m. and taken to Benefis Health System to undergo an evaluation.
Cascade County Sheriff Bob Edwards said on Monday that Staples had made statements to him and to firefighters that were concerning: “I was very concerned for his well-being and I felt that he could bring harm to himself and or others because his actions were drawing people on the ice.”
Court documents state that on Tuesday, police officers responded to Benefis West at 500 15th Avenue South regarding a disturbance involving Staples.
An officer saw Staples running north on the 1200 block of 4th Street South, wearing hospital-issued scrubs and no shoes.
A security guard from Benefis and a police officers apprehended Staples and placed him in the patrol car.
Witnesses said before escaping, Staples was yelling and cursing, and has threatened to break the neck of anyone who entered the room. He then reportedly kicked open three locked doors and ran away.
Hospital staff said that due to concerns about patient and staff safety, Staples could not be returned to the facility to continue a mental evaluation.
Police officers then took Staples to the Cascade County Detention Center. Court documents state that once they arrived at the jail, Staples became verbally abusive and threatened officers, and then rolled on his back and began kicking the car windows in an attempt to break them.
A probable cause affidavit also says that Staples urinated on the floor of the holding area and smeared his own feces on the walls of his holding cell.
Prosecutors requested that bond for Staples be set