Thursday, September 07, 2023

Montana Gun Free School Zone case: Restraining Order shows Threats, Poison, Assault, Attempted Arson

Gabriel Metcalf sits in jail, without the possibility of bail, for defending his mother Vivian and their home in Billings, Montana. Their modest home is across the street for the Broadwater Elementary School. Gabriel was keeping watch with a single shot shotgun and a camera after numerous threats and attacks against him and his elderly mother. They had a restraining order (order of protection), to keep a former neighbor, David Lee Carpenter, from coming within 1500 feet of them or their home.  The complaint lists a number of threats from David Lee Carpenter and a person who was living with him at the rented house next door to Gabriel (Gabe) at 426 Broadwater in Billings Montana.

For those with a small screen, here is a transcription of the complaint.

Victim of Stalking Other is circled then an explanation:

Neighbor. Rents. Verbal abuse, racial slurs (I am not white) Threats of gang violence threats to kill and skin my rabbit. Tried to light me (or my son) on fire like a human torch. He said he knows where I sleep he'll "burn" me out. 

Information about the violence.

He thinks nothing of screaming at a 70 year old grandmother of 10 and insulting. Poisoned my 80 yr old lilac trees (bushes), poisoned the Horseradish plant with motor oil, tresspasses onto my property, poisoned were he knows I harvest food for the rabbit, threatened to kill and skin the rabbit.

Where did this take place?

 I am always on my property when this is happening. 

Did the respondent use a gun or other weapon?

No. But he had a ball hitch & was about to hit my son and/or me with it. 

Describe any injuries.

Emotional. Severe PTSD. Hair is now falling out. Can't sleep.

Did the police come? Yes

After the fact. I read the reports, not totally accurate. They down played it. He says He'll come back and get us, even if it takes 2 years. His roomie has stood bare chested w/pants to his knees at the property's edge & has mooned us twice. Caught it once on video. 

He yells at us "Go Home". We are home. That is my property. Does he mean go home to another country? I am afraid at night - he drinks & yell at me/us, afraid to leave to even go to work. His roomie says he's in a gang. Joe is the only name I know him by. I have noticed odd traffic in the ally. He said his gang will take care of this.

On a second page, of the complaint, Vivian responds to a statement
"Respondent threatened me with firearms" by crossing out the word  firearms and substituting FIRE!, indicating the weapon used was a threat of arson.

Vivian, Gabe's mother, says the court issued a temporary restraining order/order of protection. She says Carpenter has a lawn service company, Broadwater Lawn Care. The website states David Carpenter of Billings Montana is the owner.  There are only three reviews on Yelp. Two are not complimentary. Vivian delivered a sample of what she believes is the herbicide used to kill her lilac bushes to the judge in this case.  Carpenter had to move, but Vivian says his landlord had already refused to renew his lease.

Both Gabe and Vivian have described an incident where they accuse Carpenter of trying to kill them with fire. As they describe it, Carpenter poured gasoline on a place where Vivian would pick dandelions to feed her pet rabbit. He positioned a large, riding lawnmower close to the property line fence, with the engine revved up to mask any noise. He had two large leaf blowers positioned to boost the flames and blow the flames onto Gabe or Vivian when they got into the position, a relatively confined place next to their house. Carpenter started yelling and screaming to attract them.  Gabe was there, but was cautious. He noticed Carpenter had poured gasoline.  Vivian also showed up, and started to confront Carpenter. Gabe worked to push his mother away from the gasoline. Vivian says Carpenter attempted to light the gasoline with an elongated barbecue type lighter, but it failed to ignite. The police were called. Vivian was not impressed with their investigation, saying they downplayed the situation, and did not even come to the scene to investigate.

On August 29, 2022, a ten year order of protection was issued against David Lee Carpenter, valid until August 29, 2032.


Vivian says David Lee Carpenter violated the restraining order repeatedly. Carpenter was convicted of assault-bodily injury against Gabe while Carpenter was violating the restraining order. Carpenter was required to wear an ankle monitor. Vivien saw him violating the order of protection, and called the police to check the ankle monitor records to show he drove past the front of their house twice. Nothing was done. The police said the people who monitor the ankle monitor would contact Vivian and Gabe if the ankle monitor showed Carpenter was violating the restraining order/order of protection.

Because of repeated violations of the permanent order of protection, a warrant was issued for Carpenter's arrest. Carpenter was finally arrested on July 31 2023. He bonded out.  According to Vivian, at the hearing, the County Attorney asked the ankle monitor be retained on Carpenter. The judge decided Carpenter  would not be required to be on an ankle monitor while awaiting his next trial, scheduled for January of 2024.

Gabe started standing out front of the house with his single shot shotgun and a camera on August 2. Vivien says that because the police required evidence before they would do anything about violations of the restraining order, Gabe and she would try to obtain pictures of vehicles they thought Carpenter was in, to document the violations. One of the reasons given by Magistrate Judge Timothy J. Cavan to justify the pretrial detention order was Gabe had "chased automobiles".

Those who follow violent crimes and orders of protection know they are mere bits of paper which offer little protection unless backed up by force. Far too many women have been killed while they have a restraining order in place.

Gabriel's mother has set up a GiveSendGo site to help defend their home, the Second Amendment and work to free Gabriel from this unjust pre-trial detention.

©2023 by Dean Weingarten: Permission to share is granted when this notice and link are included.

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