DOCUMENT: Sex, Crime

Hunter Pulls Knife When Male Pal Spurns Advances

Montana man, 31, faces charge for boozy assault

Brokeback Mountain

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Hunting Sex Advance

OCTOBER 29--After a full day of hunting and drinking, a Montana man allegedly threatened his hunting partner with a knife after the man rebuffed his sexual advances, police allege.

According to a probable cause affidavit, a Ravalli County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded late Sunday night to a report of a drunken man refusing to leave a residence in Hamilton, a city 45 miles south of Missoula.

Upon arriving at the home, the cop found Robert Saunders, 31, pushing on a garage door. Saunders, whose blood alcohol content was later measured at nearly four times the legal limit, was handcuffed while the deputy interviewed Michael Smith, the home’s occupant.

Smith told Deputy Jon Moles that he and Saunders “had been hunting all day and drinking,” and that Saunders (seen above) became “verbally abusive and aggressive” when they returned to Smith’s residence.  

Saunders, Smith reported, would “grab him around the neck” and “push up against his body” while grabbing his own groin and saying, “You know what this is about.” Smith told the deputy that he felt intimidated by Sauders “and that it was a ‘sexual situation.’”

After refusing to “give in to Defendant’s sexual advances,” Smith repeatedly asked Saunders to leave the home. At one point while Saunders held him around the neck, Smith recalled, Saunders “unsnapped the latch of a knife sheath he had on his hip carrying a large 4-inch blade knife.”

Fearing for his safety, Smith said that he grabbed his own knife and held it in the air. Saunders responded by pulling his own knife and assuming a “defensive stance toward Smith.” But before any stabbing transpired, Saunders “put the knife down and Smith was able to push him out of the garage door and lock it,” the affidavit notes.

The deputy sought to question Saunders, “but he was too intoxicated and focused on standing up…to provide understandable responses.” A Breathalyzer test recorded Saunders’s blood alcohol content at .306.

Charged with felony assault with a weapon, Saunders spent about 12 hours in custody before posting $10,000 bond. (3 pages)