HELENA – The Blaine County sheriff suffered minor injuries Tuesday during a brawl with an inmate he was taking back to the Montana State Prison in Deer Lodge.
Sheriff Glenn Huestis said he and 23-year-old inmate Curry Norquay were passing through Lewis and Clark County from the Havre detention center when they stopped at the Dearborn rest area for a bathroom break.
Norquay, who is in custody on a felony aggravated-burglary conviction, is accused of slipping his right hand out of his handcuffs and hitting Huestis in the head and face.
“The next thing I know, I am seeing stars,” said Huestis, who wasn’t sure how Norquay was able to free his hand.
A truck driver armed with a crowbar stood guard nearby as the sheriff restrained the inmate. Huestis received stitches to his mouth and brow, and Norquay appeared in Justice Court via teleconference Tuesday afternoon on felony charges of assault on a peace officer and attempted escape.
The sheriff was taking Norquay back to the prison after the inmate’s hearing on a probation violation from felony theft and burglary charges out of Blaine County was postponed. Norquay was sentenced to 25 years in prison for a Cascade County charge of aggravated burglary.
Lewis and Clark County Sheriff Leo Dutton said Huestis’ gun was hidden in the vehicle throughout the fight.
Dutton’s office will investigate the incident to see how Norquay might have freed his hand.