At around 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, Missoula police officers responded to a call from an employee at a gas station in the 600 block of Higgins Avenue. The employee reported that she had just been assaulted and suffered some serious injuries. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh explains.

“The officer made contact with the employee and a customer who had arrived before the officers,” Welsh said. “The customer was helping the clerk hold a make shift bandage to her head to stop it from bleeding. They provided a description of a female. The customer reported seeing a female matching that description walking northbound on the Higgins Avenue Bridge.”

According to Welsh, officers observed video surveillance of the assault. They eventually located the female suspect in Caras Park and took her into custody.

“She was identified as 24-year-old Tonnisha Triplet,” Welsh said. “Triplet was transported to the Missoula County Jail where she is being held for assault with a weapon. The surveillance video showed Triplet using a metal stool and a broom to strike the clerk several times during the course of the assault.”

Court documents indicate that the surveillance video showed Triplet on top of the clerk, striking the clerk with both hands. The strikes look to have landed around the clerk’s head, while the clerk tried to get into a fetal position.

Triplet then threw the clerk to the ground and slammed the clerk’s head on what looks like the counter behind her. Triplet then threw the clerk to the ground. The clerk went into the fetal position and Triplet picked up a metal stool.

While the clerk was attempting to cover her head, Triplet hit the clerk in the head with the stool. Triplet then hit the clerk in the body with the stool two times. Triplet threw down the stool and grabbed a broom. Triplet hit the clerk at least four times with the broom while the clerk cried out on the ground and attempted to cover her face.

The clerk was taken to St. Patrick Hospital where she stated she thought Triplet was going to kill her. The clerk suffered lacerations and bruising.

As a result, Triplet is being charged with one count of aggravated assault and two counts of assault with a weapon, all of which are considered felony offenses.

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