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A man already facing charges of assaulting police officers returned to Missoula County Justice Court on Monday accused of trying to start a riot in jail.

Thomas James Bryant, 30, was in the Missoula County Detention Center on charges of felony assaulting an officer and misdemeanor counts of assault and disorderly conduct when he allegedly asked a jailer to let him into the recreation area at 10:50 p.m. Friday.

According to court records, “Bryant proceeded to wedge the door open and then ran around to the other pods, banging on the glass and yelling for the inmates not to lock down.” Jailers ordered the inmates to get in their cells, but several joined Bryant and refused.

“Bryant stated that the ‘goon squad’ was going to have to be called out,” the affidavit stated. But he was eventually “induced to cooperate and was moved to maximum security,” it said.

Bryant was arrested in May after allegedly assaulting a bartender at the Palace Bar in Missoula, and then reportedly kicking two police officers in the faces after they handcuffed him.

He was already being held pending $25,000 bail on the assault charges. Missoula County Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech added an additional $25,000 bail on the riot charge. Felony incitement to riot while incarcerated carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison.

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