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Bigfork man sentenced for attacking police officer

by DERRICK PERKINS
Hagadone News Network | March 14, 2023 12:00 AM

A Bigfork man convicted of assaulting a Whitefish Police officer in 2021 received a partially suspended five-year sentence with the state Department of Corrections on Thursday.

A jury found Paul Kermit Gysler guilty on a single count of felony assault on a peace officer in December following a trial in Flathead County District Court. On March 9, Judge Robert Allison handed down a five-year sentence with three of those years suspended as well as credit for 357 days of time served.

Allison also recommended state corrections officials screen Gysler for an appropriate treatment program before turning the 41-year-old back over to the custody of the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office.

Gysler’s 2021 brush with the police came after a Whitefish Police officer spotted him peeing near the parking structure attached to City Hall about 2:26 a.m., July 17, according to court documents. The officer described Gysler as “immediately agitated” and ordered him to put his hands behind his back, court documents said.

Instead, Gysler allegedly tensed up and pushed away. When the officer attempted to put Gysler on the ground, he fought back, according to court documents. During the struggle, Gysler allegedly toppled the officer and used his body weight to keep the officer on the ground.

Using a stun gun, the officer regained control of Gysler, court documents said.

The officer suffered injuries to his finger and elbow during the struggle, according to court documents. Authorities credited a bystander with coming to the officer’s aid during the alleged clash.

According to court documents, Gysler continued to struggle even as more officers arrived to take him into custody.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or dperkins@dailyinterlake.com.