Helena-area felony arrests: Sex assault, kidnapping, drugs, car theft, mischief – Independent Record

Get the latest in local public safety news with this weekly email.
Eric Lee Haight
A 31-year-old East Helena man was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting a child younger than 14.
Eric Lee Haight is charged with felony sexual assault.
On March 18, a Helena Police Department officer took a report from Child Protective Services regarding the defendant allegedly touching a juvenile victim inappropriately.
Court documents state the officer spoke with the victim, who reported that the defendant had “tickled” their genital area on at least two separate occasions. The defendant allegedly continued to do this despite the victim asking him to stop. 
On March 25, the defendant spoke with law enforcement. He said he may have accidentally touched the victim’s private area, but did not do it on purpose. Court documents state that “the defendant admitted the victim was not lying about the disclosure, but couldn’t explain why the victim would make such disclosures.”
The defendant later admitted to tickling the victim and not stopping when asked. According to court documents, he said he may have went too far up the victim’s leg. According to the detective, near the end of the interview the defendant made a comment about how he abused the victim but quickly stated he didn’t mean what he had just said.
Haight appeared before Justice of the Peace Michael Swingley on March 28. Swingly set the defendant’s bail at $40,000. Haight was not in the Lewis and Clark County Detention Center as of March 31.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Scott Damein Ristedt
A 38-year-old Helena man has been accused of multiple crimes including kidnapping.
Scott Damein Ristedt is charged with felony aggravated kidnapping, felony intimidation and misdemeanor partner or family member assault (second offense).
On March 23, law enforcement was dispatched to Rodney Street for reports of the defendant having withdrawals from drugs and allegedly threatening to cut the victim’s throat if she did not find him more drugs. The victim reported that the defendant had assaulted her 12 hours earlier.
The victim said she had been picked up about 72 hours earlier by the defendant. The defendant allegedly commanded the victim to drive out of county and repeatedly threatened to cut the victim’s dog’s throat and the victim’s throat if she didn’t do what he instructed.
Court documents state that law enforcement interpreted this as restraining the victim by force, in a place of isolation and holding the victim in a condition of involuntary servitude. The victim reported she was unable to leave the defendant for three days.
According to the victim, the defendant struck her in the face causing injury. The victim said she was unable to leave the defendant’s area without permission. The victim also disclosed more assaults, which court documents state resulted in visible bodily injury.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Cindy Lee Devine
Cindy Lee Devine, 57, of Helena, is charged with felony criminal possession of heroin.
On March 4, law enforcement responded to a call from St. Peter’s Health staff reporting that a patient, the defendant, had reportedly dropped a baggy of drugs in the hospital. An officer responded and recovered the bag. The substance was determined the be heroin.
The defendant reportedly voluntarily spoke with the officer about the baggy, without being questioned. She reportedly admitted that it was heroin.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Shawn Theodore Damon
A 48-year-old Helena man was arrested on suspicion of stealing a vehicle.
Shawn Theodore Damon is charged with felony theft of property exceeding $5,000 in value.
On March 29, law enforcement received a call from someone who reported that his vehicle had been stolen from South Recreation Road in Wolf Creek. The 1999 Dodge Ram 2500 pickup truck was allegedly stolen from the victim’s property and was valued at $8,000.
Later that day, a deputy received a call stating the defendant was involved in a crash involving a different vehicle in the Wolf Creek area. The defendant was reportedly driving a red Chevrolet Cobalt at the time, which was totaled. 
Montana Highway Patrol responded to the single-vehicle accident involving the defendant near Wolf Creek. The vehicle had crashed into a concrete barrier on I-15 southbound. This is approximately one mile from where the truck was allegedly stolen. The defendant had already departed the scene prior to MHP’s arrival.
After reporting that he needed medical attention, the defendant was located on North Last Chance Gulch in Helena and transported to St. Peter’s Health. He said he had “stumbled”  all the way from Wolf Creek to Helena, which is about 27 miles in distance.
The victim’s pickup was later located on North Montana Avenue. Video footage from a nearby bank shows the defendant arrive and park the victim’s truck that morning. The ignition of the vehicle had been punched with a screwdriver and will need to be replaced, according to an arrest affidavit.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Anthony Shawn Simmons
A 36-year-old Helena man has been accused of disturbing the peace, resulting in felony charges.
Anthony Shawn Simmons is charged with two felony counts of criminal mischief.
On March 26, law enforcement was dispatched to the 1200 block of Last Chance Gulch for reports of a male throwing traffic cones into the middle of the road, tampering with the property of another person. The complainant named the defendant.
Officers had just been on a call with the defendant in the same location. The defendant was allegedly yelling profanities in the area and disturbing the peace.
The defendant had been advised that he was trespassed from the area. The defendant could be seen on video surveillance breaking the window of a business with a rock. A witness saw the defendant break another nearby window and followed him, calling out his location until officers arrived. The windows were valued at $3,500 and $2,000.
The defendant was allegedly observed in a city park with a large amount of trash and debris that had been removed from a trash can and intentionally scattered about.
All charged are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *