A Darby man has been arrested and charged with Assault with a Weapon, and Possession of a Destructive Device, both felony offenses, following an incident at the Conner Bar early Saturday morning.
Ravalli County Sheriff Chris Hoffman said that deputies responded to Conner, south of Darby, just before 2 a.m. on Saturday, July 26, on a report of a man with a “Molotov cocktail.”
Hoffman said that deputies were told that 53-year-old Jack Tony Hatzenbuehler, Jr. had been drinking at the bar for several hours, and that he had become verbally aggressive. Hatzenbuehler allegedly got up to leave and commented that he would be back, and would be “locked and loaded” when he returned. He is also alleged to have said that he would burn the place down.
According to witnesses, Hatzenbuehler did return a short time later, and was seen by other patrons getting out of his truck with a Molotov cocktail and a lighter in his hands. He was confronted by another patron who subdued him before he could light the device.
Hatzenbuehler told deputies that he had been drinking at the bar, and went outside at some point. He said that he saw some people outside smoking dope and throwing fireworks into a bonfire. He stated that he left the bar and went home to get a bottle of gas and a lighter, and then returned to the bar. Hatzenbuehler admitted that he intended to throw the bottle of gas into the fire behind the bar. When asked if he thought that would hurt anyone, he replied that he was sure it would hurt someone. He stated if there had been 30 people around the fire, he would not have, but if 3 or 4 people were around the fire, he would have thrown the bottle of gas into the fire, causing an explosion.
Hatzenbuehler was arraigned on Monday, and released on a $10,000 bond.