Bail was set at $75,000 Tuesday for Winston Ritter Sr., who was arrested on July 3 after prosecutors say he broke into a man’s home, stole his AR-15 rifle and pointed it at two people before pulling handcuffs out of his pocket and cuffing himself.
Ritter made his initial appearance in Missoula County Justice Court on Tuesday.
His arrest came just one day after he posted bond and was released from jail for a separate domestic disturbance charge involving his wife.
After leaving jail, he headed straight to the home of a friend at the Target Range Trailer Court who "might have some of his property," Ritter told law enforcement.
Ritter allegedly broke the man’s kitchen window, let himself in and slept on the kitchen floor, according to the affidavit. The owner’s parents, who were taking care of the house for their son while he was out of town, discovered the broken window the following day and called the police.
Ritter allegedly saw one of the parents call the police and ran out of the house after grabbing a loaded AR-15 rifle, which he had found the previous night, according to the affidavit. Ritter hid behind a storage shed. A responding deputy saw Ritter’s legs sticking out from below the shed.
The deputy said Ritter had the barrel of the rifle pointed in his direction and, according to the affidavit, Ritter did not drop the weapon when asked to surrender. Ritter also allegedly pointed the rifle at the manager of the trailer court, who was helping the deputy look for him.
Backup officers said Ritter ran from the shed toward two vehicles with the rifle in his hand and hid behind the vehicles. After he was told to surrender, Ritter pulled handcuffs from his pocket and handcuffed himself, according to court documents. Ritter allegedly told law enforcement he considered shooting himself during the standoff but changed his mind.
Ritter has been charged with three felonies including assault with a weapon, assault on a peace officer and burglary, according to court documents.
In court Tuesday, Acting Justice of the Peace Colin Stephens denied Ritter’s request to have his bond set at $10,000 so he could take care of his lawn care business, wife and two kids in Missoula. He is not to possess weapons, have contact with the owner of the trailer or return to the trailer court.