The Great Falls Tribune has confirmed that Roosevelt County Sheriff Freedom Crawford was involved in an altercation at a downtown bar early Tuesday morning that resulted in one man being transported to the emergency room with cuts to his face.

Crawford and other Roosevelt County Sheriff’s deputies are in town for the evidentiary hearing of Barry Beach, the man convicted of the 1979 beating death of Poplar teen Kim Nees. Roosevelt County deputies are providing security at the Lewistown Courthouse. Beach’s hearing was moved from Roosevelt County to Fergus County.

According to Lewistown Justice Court records, Crawford was charged with assault, obstructing a peace officer, disorderly conduct and criminal mischief stemming from the altercation. All are misdemeanor offenses. Lewistown police officers located Crawford at the Yogo Inn hotel, at 211 East Main Street, at approximately 12:33 a.m. He was not arrested.

According to incident report, Lewistown police officers responded to a call from a bartender at the Montana Tavern at 202 West Main Street at 12:21 a.m. reporting that an adult male subject “threw an adult male through the front window of the tavern.” According to the report, the man, later identified as Crawford, fled the scene barefoot in the direction of the Yogo Inn.

Update: Lewistown PD Press Release

The report states that the victim, who suffered “serious cuts to his face,” was traveling through town on his way to Sturgis.

No other information was immediately available.

A call to the Roosevelt County Sheriff’s Office was not immediately returned. Crawford was not at the Fergus County Courthouse Tuesday.

Montana Free Press was founded by veteran award-winning investigative and political reporter John S. Adams. John was formerly the Capital Bureau Chief of the Great Falls Tribune and a correspondent for USA TODAY. John is known as a dogged investigator and the host of the MT Lowdown podcast whose unbiased reporting has changed the shape of Montana politics. Contact John at, or follow him on Twitter.