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Missoula man charged with hitting Special Olympian in the head with a baseball bat

Posted at 4:44 AM, Jun 19, 2018
and last updated 2018-06-19 06:44:13-04

MISSOULA – New details have been released about the assault on Gary Fuller in Missoula on Thursday.

Fuller is a Special Olympics athlete and ambassador who is a fixture in the Missoula community.

Paul Ekstedt is accused of assaulting Fuller on June 14 at approximately 6 p.m.

Fuller and a group of friends were leaving a home to go eat dinner, when, according to several witnesses, Ekstedt approached Fuller and hit him in the head with a baseball bat.

One of the friends spoke to police and identified Ekstedt as the person who assaulted Fuller. She also said that she was in a relationship with Ekstedt and that there had no confrontation between him and Fuller before that time.

She also said that Ekstedt had been acting "strange" for the last week and a half.

Ekstedt was found nearby and according to court documents officers had reason to believe that he was under the influence of an "unknown intoxicating substance."

There was no information released on a possible motive for the attack. 

Ekstedt appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Friday and remains jailed at the Missoula County Detention Center.

In a post on Facebook, Fuller’s father David said:  “Gary has more confusion this morning and they’re concerned about his lungs, they are putting the ventilator back on Gary.”

According to the Montana Department of Corrections, Ekstedt has a felony conviction in Lincoln County on a charge of criminal endangerment in 2014; he received a three-year deferred sentence in that case.

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