Crews aboard the Yellowstone County Sheriff helicopter 'Air1' had a week that began with searching and rescuing, and ended up assisting in an arrest, according to a press release Sheriff Mike Linder.

Earlier this week, the YCSO helicopter joined search and rescue teams in Carbon County who are looking for a missing hiker, and shuttled search personnel along with dog teams "into the back country, saving an 8 mile hike from the trailhead to the search area, and back again."

On Wednesday afternoon (7/7), while the Yellowstone County Sheriff's Office was refueling in Red Lodge, they got word of a man who may need help in the Yellowstone River.

Credit: Shaun Hirschi
Credit: Shaun Hirschi

The man was located near Duck Creek, and had washed down the river about 1 1/2 miles from the bridge in "an area that was not easily accessible." Helicopter crews loaded the man into the YCSO chopper, and took him to nearby deputies who gave him medical attention, according to the press release.

On Friday (7/9), the Yellowstone County Sheriff's office was notified of a stolen Dodge Charger with two homicide suspects in the area, and just after 10am this morning (Friday) it was spotted by a Montana Highway Patrol trooper. The YCSO helicopter was then launched by pilot Gary Blain, who then picked up Sheriff Mike Linder in the parking lot of Inland Truck Parts off S. Frontage Road.

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Moments after the helicopter took off, 'Air1' caught up to the homicide suspects who were headed westbound on I-90 near Laurel. Crews on the helicopter were calling out commands to ground units, and while the suspects couldn't see the pursuing troopers, the Air1 "eye in the sky" spotted them turning off in Park City and heading to Laurel.

While Sheriff Mike Linder guided deputies over the radio to the suspects location, the pilot of the helicopter got on the PA and ordered the individuals to "get on the ground with your hands on your head."

The suspects complied and were taken into custody by deputies on the ground, according to the press release. No injuries were reported during the apprehension of the two homicide suspects.

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