Missoula man pleads not guilty to assaulting Special Olympian

Posted at 12:27 PM, Jul 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-19 14:27:37-04

MISSOULA – A Missoula man who has been charged with assaulting a Special Olympian says he didn’t do it.

Paul Ekstedt pleaded not guilty to felony assault with a weapon during a Thursday appearance in Missoula District Court. Ekstedt is accused of assaulting Montana Special Olympics ambassador Gary Fuller on June 14th.

Fuller and a group of friends were leaving a home to go out to eat dinner, when, according to several witnesses, Ekstedt approached Fuller and hit him in the head with a baseball bat.

One of Fuller’s friends identified Ekstedt as Fuller’s assailant, and that there had been no confrontation between the two prior to the incident. However, she also said that Ekstedt had been acting "strange" for the last week and a half before the assault.

Ekstedt was found nearby and according to court documents, officers had reason to believe that he was under the influence of an "unknown intoxicating substance."

There is still no word on a possible motive for the attack.

Ekstedt is scheduled to be back in court on August 23rd.