"Man on Ice" charged with intimidation and attempted criminal mischiefPosted: Updated:
The man who got Great Falls residents talking and stopping on the side of the road after spending several days on the Missouri River is now being charged with intimidation and attempted criminal mischief.
42-year-old Benjamin Staples spent the better part of this past weekend on the ice of the Missouri River. Great Falls Fire Rescue attempted to check on him, but he did not want to leave. Monday, the Cascade County Sheriff's Office reported they were able to take Staples into custody, and no one was hurt. Staples was then taken to Benefis where he was awaiting evaluation.
But according to court documents, by the time Tuesday rolled around Staples was allegedly causing a "disturbance" at the hospital. While police were en route to the hospital, an officer saw Staples running northbound on the 1200 block of 4th St. South. He was apparently not wearing shoes and had on scrub style clothing patients in the psychiatric wing are usually assigned. Additionally, a security guard from Benefis was following him. The officer was able to eventually apprehend Staples, who told the officer he kicked open the secure doors and ran away because the staff was "mean to him."
Staff and nurses at Benefis told police that Staples had been yelling and cursing, and had allegedly threatened to break the neck of anyone who entered the room. One nurse is cited in court documents as telling police "we were fearful and we aren't usually."
Court documents go on to state that when Staples arrived at the police station, he continued to yell throughout the booking process, urinated on the floor, and smeared his own feces on the wall of the holding cell.
Staples has not had his initial appearance yet. The state is requesting his bond be set at $25,000.
To see our previous coverage, click here.