Missoula Man Accused of Breaking Into Woman’s Home, Strangling Her After Fight Over Handgun
Missoula Police received a call from a local hospital on Presidents' Day evening and staff reported that a woman had arrived claiming to have been strangled in a recent domestic disturbance.
"Just about 7:30 p.m., an officer was called to a local hospital emergency room for the report of a female who had reported that she had been involved in a disturbance with a male who had forced his way into her apartment," said Missoula Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh. "The female reported that the male had attempted to strangle her. She also reported that during the event, she suffered seizures."
It is appears the seizures were a result of a prior medical condition, but may have been exacerbated by the assault. Police arrested 26-year-old Zachariah Pederson who has been charged with partner or family member assault once before. This time, Welsh says the strangulation occurred after a fight over a gun.
"There was a struggle over the handgun and the female resident reported that the male attempted to strangle her," Welsh said. "He was eventually arrested and is currently being held at the Missoula County Jail on one charge of aggravated burglary, one charge of partner or family member assault, and an additional charge of destruction or tampering with a communication device."
According to Welsh, the gun belonged to the victim and was not fired during the struggle.