Local resident arrested in VA threats

By: 
Jasmine Hall

A Livingston resident has been arrested after allegedly making threats against staff of Bozeman and Billings Veterans Affairs clinics.

Frederick Potter, 34, was transported to the Park County Detention Center Wednesday afternoon after Livingston Police Department received two complaints about threats made at the Montana VA clinics, as well as various individuals on Facebook.

Livingston Police Chief Dale Johnson said he did not know the specifics of how the clinics received the threats or what type of threats Potter had allegedly made, but that Potter posted on Facebook about “going on a killing spree.”

VA Montana Heath Care System Public Affairs Officer Mike Garcia wrote in an email, “A veteran that receives care at both the Bozeman and Billings VA clinics allegedly made threats against VA staff.” 

Garcia wrote that local law enforcement were notified and that they were notified the suspect had been taken into custody by LPD. 

“Neither clinic was evacuated and no patient care was impacted yesterday,” Garcia stated.

Potter was located at 3:20 p.m. outside Taco Johns “to be evaluated by mental health professionals,” Johnson said, but when law enforcement made contact, the situation “deteriorated” and Potter became verbally and physically aggressive.

Johnson said Potter kicked a Park County Sheriff Office deputy and attempted to bite several law enforcement officers. An officer pulled a stun gun but it was not used, and three officers were involved in his arrest.  

LPD has had interactions involving mental health issues with Potter in the past but “nothing to this extent,” Johnson said. 

In incidents involving potential mental health issues, Johnson said mental health officials are contacted to make an evaluation but that charges are filed when they commit a crime.

 Potter faces charges of assault on a peace officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. Johnson said he does not expect any further charges at this time.

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Jasmine Hall may be reached at jhall@livent.net.