NewsCrime and Courts


Staples identified as the man in standoff with Great Falls police

There were no injuries to anyone inside the home or outside.
Posted at 2:28 PM, Oct 08, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-08 16:28:17-04

The man involved in an armed standoff with police in Great Falls on Monday has been identified as Benjamin Tucker Staples.

It happened at a house on Riverview Drive East between Division Road and 2nd Street; officers had their weapons drawn as they negotiated with the man inside. At one point, they yelled at him to put his handgun down.

Officers were able to get Staples to surrender peacefully in about an hour, and he was taken into custody. There were no injuries to anyone inside the home or outside.

The GFPD confirmed to KRTV that Staples is the person who posted threatening messages on Facebook and on the KRTV Facebook page on Monday morning, using the alias "John Smith."

Among the messages he posted:

  • "I am going to kill a hole hell of a lot of cops very soon. Just wanted to let you know before I get started."
  • "Battle dress on, pack loaded, mags loaded, gun loaded, not chambered yet, final goodbyes, cross on heart."

Staples also posted a video to his "John Smith" page on Facebook. In the video, he says he has about an hour and fifteen minutes, and that he is "suited up." He said he hopes that everyone has food and water, and then talks about "the Rapture" taking the wicked and the unprepared.

Staples has been charged with one felony count of intimidation; we do not yet know if any other charges will be filed. We have requested, but not yet received, a booking photo from the Cascade County Detention Center.

Staples drew attention in March 2018 when he began camping out on the frozen Missouri River, spending three nights on the thin ice. While doing so, he also climbed up and across one of the bridges.

After he was taken into custody for that incident, he was charged with intimidation and criminal mischief because while undergoing an evaluation at Benefis Health System, Staples reportedly began yelling and cursing, and threatened to break the neck of anyone who entered the room.

Court documents state that he kicked open three locked doors and ran away. Once officers captured him, he reportedly threatened them, too, and began trying to kick out the windows of the police car.

Several months later, Staples again drew a response from emergency responders after people reported seeing him on the 10th Street Bridge and were worried that he may have been suicidal.