Just before 6 p.m. Tuesday night, Missoula Police received a report that a transient was sleeping in the basement of a building in the 100 block of North Higgins Avenue. Police Public Information Officer Travis Welsh says a caller reported finding the male sleeping on the floor in the utility area of the basement.

“The officer arrived and he was escorted down the basement to where the male was sleeping,” Welsh said. “The officer found him laying on his side. He tired to wake him to ask him if he was alright. He first concern was that the man may have been injured. However, as the officer was attempting to rouse the man, the man turned and actually bit him on the hand.”

According to Welsh, the officer was hurt by the bite, but it could have been much worse.

“Fortunately, the officer was wearing gloves,” Welsh said. “Though the officer reported some pain from the bite, there was no actual puncture of his skin. The male was taken in to custody and transported to jail. He is awaiting arraignment for charges of resisting arrest, obstructing a peace officer, criminal trespass to property, and assault on a peace officer.”

The responding officer was alone, but he did receive help from a fellow officer when it came time to escort 20-year-old Silas Highelk from the building.

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