MISSOULA — UPDATE: April 11, 2020 - 7:50 a.m.
A series of assaults shut down Missoula's popular M Trail on Friday and sent two people to the hospital.
Reports of a hiker slipping and falling on her head were reported on Mount Sentinel at around 2:30 p.m., but those reports quickly changed to an alleged assault. The victim was transported to the hospital with non-life threatening injuries while a suspect was last seen hiking up the mountain.
University of Montana spokeswoman Paula Short says nearly an hour later, another call came in reporting the suspect still on the trail and being aggressive towards other hikers. Then around 4:30 p.m., UM was notified the suspect had engaged another group and started a physical altercation.
At this time, we know two people were transported to the hospital while the others suffered non-life threatening injuries. The suspect was later apprehended with Short saying that the UM alert system helped track down the suspect.
"In this specific case in providing us valuable information about the suspect while still on the mountain from a hiker who received our timely warning on their phone while they were there,” Short said.
“I also want to thank our local law enforcement for their part in this. We have members here from the city and county, police and fire, the forest service also have been involved this afternoon. We greatly appreciate the cooperation and help."
An investigation into the series of incidents is ongoing.
(first report: April 9, 2020 - 6:44 p.m.)
The M Trail on Mount Sentinel is still closed at this time as three people are in need of medical attention.
Catherine Cole from University Montana's President office updated MTN News of this situation.
No details regarding the extent of the injuries or the people involved have been released.
Life Flight did land on the mountain and then left the scene.
The public is being asked to avoid the area.