A 72-year-old Florence man was arrested Monday after he allegedly pointed a revolver at two utility workers hired to trim trees around power lines.
David Louis Trenk appeared Wednesday in Ravalli County Justice Court.
According to Ravalli County Deputy Attorney Angela Wetzsteon’s charging affidavit, the two men were working on Holloway Lane on April 22. Both were wearing neon yellow shirts and other clothing typically worn by utility workers.
Property owners had been notified about the tree-trimming work.
They had parked their bucket truck at the end of Trenk’s driveway and approached his home on foot to let the homeowner know they were there. One of the men told a deputy later they had knocked on the front door, basement door and shop door without getting an answer.
The road through the property accesses two addresses. Since there was a sign on the roadway that indicated it was a NorthWestern Energy access road, the men concluded it was OK to proceed onto the property.
The men went on to the property to trim trees. They were returning to their truck and were about halfway through a junkyard on the property when they were intercepted by Trenk. The affidavit said Trenk had a handgun at his side.
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Trenk asked them why they were on his property and when they told him, the affidavit said he replied something to the effect of “I don’t care who you are, get the (expletive) off my property.” At that point, Trenk allegedly raised the handgun and pointed it at the men’s faces.
The two men immediately agreed to leave and began walking down the driveway.
Trenk allegedly walked up to one of the men and kicked him in the back of the legs while continuing to point the gun at the pair.
One of the men described Trenk as holding the gun in a “shooting position” with his finger on the trigger throughout the entire encounter.
When a sheriff’s deputy located Trenk, he said the two men should not have been on his property. He allegedly told the deputy he pointed the gun at the men to make them “excited” to encourage them to leave his property. He initially claimed he didn’t point the gun at them, but then stated he lifted it once, the affidavit said.
The deputy retrieved a Chiappa .17 caliber 10-shot handgun loaded with 10 live cartridges. The gun was consistent with what the men described to the deputy.
Acting Justice Court Judge Robin Clute set bail at $10,000.