HELENA — A Helena man is accused of starting a fire and shooting at law enforcement and fire personnel.
David Joseph Madden has been accused of eight offenses including felony assault on a peace officer and felony criminal endangerment. He made his initial appearance in Lewis and Clark County Justice Court Monday before Judge Michael Swingley.
At around 8:00 p.m. on Saturday, Lewis and Clark County Deputies were notified of a fire near the 4000 block of Deal Lane. Court documents say a caller told dispatch of a fire burning near a home. After a failed attempt to put out the fire, the caller tried to contact anyone inside the residence and entered the building.
According to court documents, the caller told dispatch they went upstairs to see if anyone was in need of help. Madden is accused of confronting the individual with a shotgun and stating that he was the one that started the fire. The individual was able to flee the residence and then called 911.
Once deputies arrived, Madden also called 911 and allegedly told dispatch he had a gun and people were shooting at him and trying to kill him. He further stated he would not leave the residence and intended to defend himself from people on his property he thought would harm him.
Deputies attempted to negotiate with Madden so that fire personnel could extinguish the fire.
Madden is then accused of firing multiple shots in the direction of law enforcement and fire personnel.
Lewis and Clark County/Helena Police SWAT was called for assistance and law enforcement reported one SWAT vehicle was struck by a bullet.
As the fire continued to burn around the property, Madden is further accused of attempting to “sneak away under the darkness of the night” with two rifles and ammunition.
Judge Swingley set Madden’s bond at $20,000. An arraignment in District Court has been set for April 12.