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A Colorado man brandished a knife during a fight early Thursday morning at a downtown Bozeman bar, according to law enforcement.

Brady James Smith, 33, is accused of assault with a weapon, a felony. Judge Rick West set Smith’s bail at $5,000 in Gallatin County Justice Court on Thursday. Smith attended the hearing by video from the Gallatin County Detention Center.

Law enforcement received a call Thursday prior to bars closing at 2 a.m. that a man was attempting to stab a person at or outside of a bar in Bozeman, according to court documents. When officers arrived, they saw two people holding Smith against a wall. An officer ordered Smith to lay on the ground.

Documents say Smith did not comply with the order to lay down. An officer discharged a Taser and took him into custody.

Witnesses told law enforcement an argument began in the bar over someone being hit with a shot glass. Smith pulled a pocket knife with a blade that was about 3 inches long during the argument and punched a person in the face, though court documents do not make it clear which event happened first. Employees kicked the people out of the bar and the fight continued on the sidewalk. Smith threw the knife to the side and continued to fight, according to law enforcement.

A witness grabbed the knife after Smith threw it and gave it to law enforcement before giving them a statement, according to documents.

At the detention center, Smith told law enforcement that he pretended to hit a man while in the bar and then the man attacked him. He said he pulled the knife because he felt as if it was the right thing to do and said he believed doing so was legal because the knife wasn’t concealed.

, documents say. Smith, who law enforcement said was intoxicated at the time of the interview, said he threw the knife away while outside the bar and was “just trying to get away” from the altercation.

If convicted of the charge, Smith could face up to 20 years in the Montana State Prison and a fine of up to $50,000. Because the charge is a felony, West did not ask for a plea from Smith, who requested a public defender, and future court proceedings will take place in Gallatin County District Court.

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Melissa Loveridge can be reached at mloveridge@dailychronicle.com or at (406) 582-2651.

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