KICKER: Fake 911 Call Near Helena Brings SWAT

Aaron Flint posted on August 13, 2010 07:39 :: 1153 Views

by Jay Scott, KBLL, Helena


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A report of an armed kidnapping turned out to be false, but it set off a search effort Wednesday night. Prosecutors say 22 year old Beau Justin Heyser of Helena called 911 at about 10:30 p.m. saying two men had flagged him down on Little Wolf Creek Road off of Highway 200, kidnapped him at gunpoint in a rental moving van and drove him into the mountains. Heyser told sheriff’s deputies one man drove the moving van while the other followed in a Chevy pickup. He said the van eventually got stuck and the men told him to take off his shoes and run. Deputies found Heyser and the van.

A 16-person SWAT team and a 12-person Department of Homeland Security aircraft team responded to Heyser’s false report, as did Helena police and Montana Highway Patrol troopers. Court documents say that after questioning, Heyser admitted he made up the story of his van being stolen at gunpoint

Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said the massive response came because two of the most wanted fugitives in America – John McCluskey and his fiancé and cousin Casslyn Welch– are suspected of being in Montana.

Heyser ultimately told authorities he heard there was a shortcut to get from Interstate 15 to Highway 200. He took the wrong road and got stuck. He said he was not going to be able to pay for a wrecker to get him out, so he made up the story to get him out of trouble,” court documents state. Heyser was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of giving false reports to law enforcement authorities. After posting $310 bond, he appeared in Justice Court Thursday morning, where he was ordered to pay a $335 fine and received a six-month suspended jail sentence. Heyser also is responsible for restitution of at least $1,500 to pay for the costs to the responding law enforcement agencies. The total cost incurred by the Montana Highway Patrol has not yet been compiled.

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