Man faces felony assault charge after West Yellowstone bar fight

Posted at 12:32 PM, May 21, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-21 14:32:14-04

WEST YELLOWSTONE – A West Yellowstone man faces a felony assault charge after allegedly knocking out five teeth and fracturing the jaw of another man in a bar fight.

According to court documents, 34-year-old Whitney Russell Hungerford engaged in a verbal argument with another man at Bullwinkles Saloon in West Yellowstone around 1:30 a.m. Sunday morning.

Hungerford was reportedly asked to leave by bar staff, attempted to return, but was blocked by a bartender. Court documents state the alleged victim “said something stupid” to Hungerford while the bartender was blocking him. Hungerford stepped back and waited by the exit, at which point the man inside allegedly ran out towards him.

Hungerford struck the man in the head and face, court documents state, knocking him down and continuing to punch him multiple times as he lay on the ground until bar patrons ran out to pull him off.

When West Yellowstone police arrived on the scene, Hungerford was no longer present. The reporting officer states that the victim was taken to Big Sky Medical Center and received six stitches in his lip, had five teeth knocked out, and sustained a broken jaw.

Hungerford was arrested later around 5 p.m. at his residence. According to the reporting officer, Hungerford admitted to being in the fight and has a history of criminal charges, including resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, and negligent endangerment.

Hungerford appeared in Gallatin County Justice Court on Monday, and the state prosecutor said he also has DUI convictions from 2011 and 2016. Hungerford’s defense attorney indicated he was acting in self-defense.

Judge Bryan Adams set Hungerford’s bail at $10,000 with Level 3 reporting to pretrial services. He is to have no contact with the alleged victim or witnesses and must not be on the premises of Bullwinkles Saloon. His initial appearance in District Court is set for June 15.