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Man accused of stealing wine allegedly bit store employee, spat at officers

Daily Inter Lake | July 19, 2022 12:00 AM

A man accused of stealing several bottles of wine from a Kalispell grocery store allegedly spat in the face of police officers during his arrest and hoped aloud that they would contract a virus from his saliva.

Robert Eugene McCarty, 35, faces felony robbery and misdemeanor assault with a bodily fluid following his July 13 arrest. He is being held in the county jail on a $75,000 bond.

Officers began searching for McCarty after meeting up with loss prevention personnel at a First Avenue East supermarket for reports of a theft and assault, court documents said. The victim, a store employee who said he confronted McCarty, told officers that the other man punched him, knocking off his glasses, and bit him in the arm.

A witness, who had shadowed McCarty after the fight, according to court documents, directed officers to the local library. There, officers located and arrested McCarty. Once inside the patrol car, McCarty allegedly spat at the divider.

“I hope you get AIDS,” he said, according to court documents.

Arriving at the police department, officers worked to get a hood on McCarty, but he managed to spit in one officer’s face, court documents said. That officer later underwent testing for saliva exposure.

McCarty’s arraignment in Flathead County District Court is scheduled for July 21. If convicted, he faces between two and 40 years in state prison and a fine of up to $50,000 for robbery. Assault with a bodily fluid carries a maximum penalty of up to a year behind bars and a fine of $1,000.

News Editor Derrick Perkins can be reached at 758-4430 or

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