Thursday, September 28, 2023
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Bizarre Complaint Against Tribal Police

GREAT FALLS, Mont. (CN) - Blackfeet tribal police officers shot up a man's business with BB guns and shot him in the eye with a BB, he claims in a federal lawsuit.

Martin Marceau sued the United States on Tuesday. The United States is the only defendant.

Marceau Advanced Automotive in Browning, Mont., 129 miles north of Great Falls on the Blackfeet Indian Reservation. Part of his business involves assisting towing operations for Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services.

In August 2012, two uniformed Blackfeet officers showed up at his garage during business hours and began shooting BB guns they had confiscated from children, Marceau claims. Apparently, the officers confiscated the guns because they are "realistic in that they look like real weapons."

Marceau says he and others at his business were shot by the BBs.

"Mr. Marceau was temporarily blinded as a result of the shot to his eye," the complaint states. "There was also a discoloring to Mr. Marceau's eye, which caused him to believe he would permanently lose his vision. The two tribal officers laughed at the individuals who were shot."

Marceau says he had to drive more than 200 miles to Community Medical Center in Missoula, where he was treated for a corneal abrasion.

He claims the unnamed officers paid him a visit when he got back, and asked him to sign a document that blamed others for the shooting.

"Advanced Automotive subsequently experienced a decline in business from the BLES," [Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services] Marceau says in the complaint. "This was due to tribal officers' ill feelings toward plaintiff's refusal to sign the false statement and reporting his claim."

He seeks the costs of his medical treatment, court costs, and damages for negligence, emotional distress and vicarious liability.

He is represented by Paul Gallardo, of Great Falls, who was not immediately available for comment.

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