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A Three Forks man hit a Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy while being arrested at his home this week, according to law enforcement.

Justice Court Judge Rick West set bail at $50,000 on Thursday for Mark Owensby II, who’s been charged with felony assault on a peace officer.

A Gallatin County Sheriff’s deputy on Wednesday saw a Buick LeSabre speeding and fishtailing while driving on a residential Three Forks street. The deputy waved the car to a stop and began to walk toward it.

The driver, later identified as Owensby, shook his head and drove away “aggressively at a high rate of speed,” court documents say.

The deputy followed Owensby’s in his patrol vehicle and found the Buick LeSabre parked at a house on Front Street. He talked to another person in the residence and, after Owensby came to the door, the deputy told him he was under arrest for obstruction and grabbed his arm.

Owensby tried to run away and then began to fight the deputy, according to law enforcement. Court documents say Owensby was “striking (the deputy) with his hands,” but does not specify if the strikes were closed-fist punches or open-hand slaps.

The deputy called for backup and, after a few minutes of fighting, was able to handcuff Owensby. Court documents say that the deputy’s arm was injured and that he had a cut on the back of his head from the fight.

During his bail setting hearing, Owensby argued with Judge West and prosecutors when attorneys mentioned his criminal history, which includes convictions for assault, child endangerment and resisting arrest. West told Owensby that if he continued to argue, he would be held in contempt of the court.

The court ordered that Owensby not leave Montana without permission, abstain from the use of alcohol or drugs and avoid any establishments where the primary business is alcohol or gambling.

The judge also ordered Owensby not to drive or walk by the deputy’s house or to have any contact with the deputy unless it was professional contact.

Owensby’s preliminary hearing was set for April 16, 2021 at 8 a.m.

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

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