Edward Brian Saunders

Edward Brian Saunders appears via video Monday in Gallatin County Justice Court on a charge of strangulation of partner or family member.

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A Bozeman man is accused of choking a 15-year-old girl after he thought she took family heirloom swords from his closet.

Edward Brian Saunders, 51, is charged with felony strangulation of a partner or family member. He appeared via video in Gallatin County justice Court before Judge Rick West. Bail was set at $10,000.

On Saturday, Bozeman police responded to a report of a man and a girl screaming on West Olive Street. Dispatchers later told officers that the man may have choked the girl.

As an officer walked up to the residence, a man came from the back of the house with a sword in his hand, court documents say. The man put the sword down and complied after the officer pointed a gun at him.

Saunders told officers that a girl was trying to escape through a window near the alley.

The girl then came out of the home and yelled, “Finally you are here, thank you so much.”

The girl was trembling and crying and told the officer that Saunders blamed her for his missing swords that were family heirlooms.

According to charging documents, Saunders told the girl, “You (expletive) up my entire life and you had to do this, too,” and then dragged her to his room, threw her on his bed and choked her, police said in charging documents. The girl said she tried to leave, but Saunders grabbed her and threw her on the ground about eight times, preventing her from leaving the house.

The girl later sent the officer video of the incident.

Toward the end of the video, police said, Saunders could be heard saying, “Oh yes I did hold you by your throat.”

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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