Troy man charged after airport fracas

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BRUCE ALAN Basham at his arraignment, Monday, Sept. 16, 2019. (Paul Sievers/The Western News)

A Troy man is facing charges after law enforcement said he tried to assault and destroy another man’s vehicle during a recent altercation at the Troy Airport.

Bruce Alan Basham was charged with felony criminal mischief for his alleged role in a Aug. 22 incident.

According to the affidavit of probable cause filed by Lincoln County District Attorney Marcia Boris, at about 10:51 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, Marty Dane Mischenko, 32, of Libby, called 911 to report he had been punched in the throat and his vehicle had been rammed, allegedly by Basham.

Mischenko said he had been lured to the Troy Airport parking area by Bruce Basham and William Arnold to talk about a Mischenko possibly stealing a lawn mower which Mischenko said Arnold had in his possession.

Arnold was allegedly driven to the meeting by Basham in an old green Dodge. They met in the Airport parking area after Mischenko drove there in a 1999 green Jeep Cherokee.

According to Mischenko, after he got out of his vehicle he said he was punched in the throat by Arnold without provacation. Mischenko said he feared for his life because Arnold “was three times my size” and that he was disabled.

The affidavit then indicated that Mischenko got a broken shovel handle from his Jeep and swung it at Arnold to keep him at bay. At some point, Mischenko said he dropped the handle and Arnold and Basham allegedly chased him around the lot. Mischenko said he was pushed to the ground before escaping. He said Arnold then used the shovel handle to smash the rear and left side windows of his Jeep. Mischenko also said he had cuts and scrapes from being pushed to the ground and his Jeep had a broken turn signal and a new, long crack in the windshield.

According to the affidavit, Mischenko said Basham got back in his pickup and told Arnold it was time to leave. Basham then allegedly rammed into Mischenko’s truck.

When an investigating officer from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office arrived, his report indicated the damage was consistent with the physical evidence at the scene.

The officer then drove Mischenko to a nearby residence where he stayed because he is homeless.

The officer asked a Montana Highway Patrol Trooper to look for the suspect’s vehicle, which turned out to be a Ford F250 pickup truck, which was registered to Arnold and driven by another man.

The man told the Trooper that Arnold and Basham wanted to find Mischenko and a man named “Barry” because they believed the two had stolen his lawn mower.

The man said that Mischenko told him the story about the altercation at the airport. The man then said he volunteered to drive Arnold, who believed to be drunk, to Arnold’s house where Arnold got a revolver. But, according to the man, the gun was left laying on the bed rail of Basham’s truck after he drove off, so Arnold was stranded and he didn’t have a gun.

When an officer interviewed Basham about the incident, he allegedly denied being in an accident, but after examing his truck, he arrested him for criminal mischief.

According to Kootenai County, Idaho, Sheriff’s Office booking reports, Mischenko was taken into custody on an outstanding warrant, possession of prescription medicine blank forms and the criminal possession of a bank card.

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