The owner of a Hamilton fly shop has been charged with felony assault with a weapon for allegedly aiming a pistol at his landlord.
David Thomas Brandos, 58, of Hamilton appeared Wednesday in Ravalli County Justice Court, where bond was set at $5,000.
Brandos was arrested Tuesday.
Deputy County Attorney Thorin Geist’s charging affidavit said the Hamilton police were dispatched to the fly shop on North First Street at about 9 a.m. following a report of an assault.
The location includes two businesses, the Fin City Fly Shop and Sapphire Chiropractic.
Upon arrival, a Hamilton police officer noted that the fly shop had a July 7, 2019, order of protection taped to its window that prohibited the building’s owner, Sean O’Brien, from being within 1,500 feet of the building, except to conduct landowner business.
O’Brien owns the building. He is also a former owner of the fly shop.
O’Brien called police after he said Brandos pointed a pistol at him when he went next door to collect rent.
According to the affidavit, O’Brien said he was approaching the building when he saw Brandos with the pistol in his right hand — with both arms extended — and pointed directly at him. O’Brien said he entered Sapphire Chiropractic, concluded his business and then zigzagged as he returned to his vehicle. He told police he feared being shot in the back.
Brandos told police a different story.
Brandos said he watched O’Brien pull into the parking lot and begin walking in a “threatening manner,” the affidavit said. Brandos said he then grabbed his Glock 20 pistol and locked the deadbolt to the front door of his business.
Brandos said he remained inside the building and watched O’Brien through the windows as he entered Sapphire Chiropractic. He said he did not point the pistol at O’Brien.
When O’Brien exited the business next door, Brandos said O’Brien turned toward him and said, “You have a gun.”
Brandos showed the police officer the pistol, which had a magazine inside and a round beside it.