On May 21, 2022, at approximately 12:40 p.m., Missoula Police Department Officers responded to Walmart South for a reported assault that had occurred in the parking lot. Police Public Information Officer Lydia Arnold explains.

“Officers responded to a disturbance at Walmart South,” Arnold said. “Upon arrival, an officer was flagged down and approached by the victim who was still very upset and having a hard time speaking to the officer. Officers learned the victim observed people entering a vehicle parked at Walmart that they did not have permission to enter. The victim confronted them and engaged with an unknown female.”

The victim reported that she had been driving by the Walmart when she noticed the vehicle belonging to her boyfriend with its doors open and what appeared to be someone inside. The victim said her boyfriend had left his vehicle locked at Walmart and no one had permission to enter the vehicle.

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The victim was concerned people were taking her boyfriend’s belongings. The victim opened the door and physically removed the unknown female from the vehicle. Shortly after pulling the female out of the vehicle, a male came from behind the victim and put his arm around her neck.

“While speaking with the female, an unknown male to the victim, Michael Brooks, came from behind and started to strangle the victim,” Arnold said. “The responding officer was able to observe injuries around the area of the neck. The victim was transported to a local hospital for further medical treatment. Additional responding officers located the vehicle that the female and Brooks were in. Officers stopped the vehicle and Brooks was taken into custody.”

According to court documents, the victim believed she was lifted off the ground during the attack. The victim said she felt like the attack lasted “forever,” believing she was strangled for approximately two minutes.

The victim’s boyfriend reported that he had never given anyone permission to use or enter his vehicle and wanted to press charges for trespassing.

Brooks was arrested and transported to the Missoula County Detention Center. He is currently being charged with one count of felony criminal endangerment.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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