Libby man faces charges after police standoff

| June 12, 2020 7:38 AM

The man at the center of a June 5 standoff with Libby Police officers and Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office deputies now stands accused of multiple counts of assault.

Authorities charged Wyatt Levi Wicka, 32, of Libby with assault with a weapon and partner or family member assault, first offense, in the Justice Court of Lincoln County on June 8. Wicka was held on a $75,000 bond.

Libby police officers took Wicka into custody following a barricade situation that forced authorities to evacuate homes and businesses along the U.S. Highway 2 corridor. Authorities resolved the situation after bringing in a sheriff’s deputy with negotiation training, but Police Chief Scott Kessel said the Flathead County Special Response Team was held in reserve.

At the time, officials said only that police initially responded to reports of multiple assaults near the intersection of 10th Street and Montana Avenue. Two people suffered minor injuries in the incident, authorities said.

An affidavit written by Libby Police officer Jonathan Graham and filed with Justice Court revealed new details about the incident. In it, Graham recounts Wicka grabbing his girlfriend and pinning her against the side of a vehicle parked along Montana Avenue at about 7:19 p.m.

When witnesses confronted Wicka about the incident, he pulled out a handgun, Graham recounted. Wicka allegedly pointed the firearm at the face of one of the witnesses.

Wicka later punched one of the witnesses and then struck his girlfriend with a closed fist, according to court documents. She hit her head after falling to the ground, Graham wrote in the affidavit.

Wicka barricaded himself in a nearby residence not long after, according to authorities. About 15 law enforcement personnel from the sheriff’s office and Libby Police Department were involved.

Wicka does not have any previous weapons offenses or partner or family member assault convictions on his record, according to court documents.

The assault with a weapon charges carries a maximum penalty of imprisonment of up to 20 years and a $50,000 fine. The penalty for partner or family member assault, first offense, is punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.