Just after midnight on Tuesday, officers with the Missoula Police Department responded to a disturbance at the Missoula Public Library. They received a report that a male had pistol-whipped another male in the head. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“The officers responded and made contact with the victim who did have evidence of injury,” Welsh said. “He was treated by EMS, but he declined to be transported to the hospital. He described two males that actually confronted him about a missing item. The male described the suspect that struck him with the handgun and he was located a short distance away at the intersection of Higgins and Front Street.”

The victim said the suspect struck him in the head multiple times with a pistol. The suspect told the officer that he had a “BB gun” in his waistband.

“It turns out that this male, identified as 29-year-old Tyrone Ryder, had previous incidents where law enforcement was made familiar with him. Ryder was placed under arrest. They did find him in possession of a pistol, which later was determined to be a pellet gun.”

Ryder explained that he found the BB gun outside the Oxford Saloon after he finished gambling. According to court documents, he said he thought the gun was cool and placed it in his waistband. He denied ever being at the Library or showing the gun to anyone.

Officers also located a pipe used for smoking methamphetamine in Ryder’s pocket. Ryder is being charged with one count of assault with a weapon and one count of criminal possession of drug paraphernalia.