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Missoula Man Jumps Off Bandmann Bridge – Lands on Swimmer Who Nearly Drowns [AUDIO]

Charles Ament
photo courtesy of NBC Montana

In a virtual replay of an incident that occurred in the summer of 2013, a Missoula man has been charged with jumping off the Bandmann Bridge and landing on another man, nearly causing him to drown.

Charles Ament, 37, appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Monday afternoon and was charged with misdemeanor negligent endangerment, as well as a parole violation. He was placed in jail on $5,000 bond.

Public Information Officer with the Missoula Sheriff’s Department, Paige Pavalone said that the incident occurred Saturday evening on a bridge over the Clark Fork River.

“There were three individuals who were on top of the bridge and jumping into the water,” Pavalone said. “The first person, identified in court documents as Jarrett Gann, had jumped off and was underneath the water when a second jumper, identified as 37 year-old Charles Ament, did a handstand off the bridge and landed on the first jumper, injuring him. According to the victim, he said he remembered being underwater, and the next thing he knew, he was being resuscitated on the shore.”

Pavalone said some bystanders were responsible for helping to save the victim’s life.

“Some bystanders were able to get into the water and keep the victim afloat, because he was actually unconscious floating downstream and they returned him to the shore,” she said. “Emergency responders were able to resuscitate him and transport him to St. Patrick Hospital. The other two individuals jumping behind him were charged with negligent endangerment. Mr. Ament was also charged with negligent endangerment, as well as a felony parole violation because he had been consuming alcohol while he was on parole.”

Charles Ament Charging Documents

Pavalone said the incident occurred in almost the exact spot where a year ago another Missoula man, Andy Hill, was severely injured while he was tubing, and Corey Allan Hewitt landed on him. Hewitt was recently found guilty of negligent endangerment and fined over $20,000, in addition to reimbursing Hill for his medical bills in payments of $100 per month.

“We just want to drive home the fact that people are getting hurt, and a lot of this is happening while people are intoxicated,” Pavalone said. “We want people to be cognizant that this is a very serious situation and we don’t want anyone to get killed. If bystanders hadn’t rescued the victim, he probably would have drowned.”

It is unknown if Charles Ament is any relation to Jeff Ament of Pearl Jam.

Public Information Officer Paige Pavalone

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