Montana Highway Patrol brass were in court on Monday for the initial appearance of a 29-year-old man accused of damaging a trooper's patrol car and threatening to shoot the arresting officer.
Cody Shane Johnson is charged in Missoula County Justice Court with driving under the influence of alcohol, possession of drug paraphernalia, criminal mischief and disorderly conduct. He was out of custody Monday afternoon after posting bail.
Troopers were dispatched to West Broadway on Sunday for a report of a car driving recklessly. When troopers spoke with the driver, identified in court documents as Johnson of Missoula, his behavior grew hostile, prosecutors said. Johnson failed several field sobriety tests and then began thrashing around in the back seat of the patrol car.
The arresting trooper transported Johnson to the hospital for medical clearance, during which Johnson began threatening to "take that AR (assault rifle) and blow your head off," according to charging documents. Johnson also ripped the cable from the vehicle's rear radar antenna and bent the bracket, the trooper reported.
Johnson explicitly denied making any threats to the trooper at his initial appearance on Monday.
Missoula District Capt. Jim Kitchen and Sgt. Sean Finley were at the hearing with the arresting trooper.
Less than four months have passed since a Montana Highway Patrol trooper was shot in the head, face and neck. Trooper Wade Palmer survived the attack on March 15 and is now back at his home in Stevensville continuing his rehabilitation.
Johnson asked Missoula County Justice of the Peace Alex Beal for a public defender. Beal warned him the allegations were "remarkably significant" and ordered he not have possession of any weapons or contact the trooper while the case is ongoing.