Jared R. Kuntz mugshot

The Missoula County Attorney charged a man taken into custody off Mount Sentinel Friday with four counts of felony assault, including assaulting a minor.

According to court documents filed Monday, Jared Robert Kuntz allegedly began a rampage along the M trail by assaulting a woman hiking with her 13-year-old son, which put the woman into the hospital with a fractured skull and sent her son into shock.

UM spokesperson Paula Short said that the woman was still receiving treatment for her injuries as of Tuesday. 

The attack spurred a manhunt that included University of Montana and city police and rural and urban fire departments, and court documents state the violence ended with Kuntz attacking two more hikers before one of the survivors stabbed him with a buck knife.

Short confirmed that one of the hikers identified as a survivor of the alleged assault was a UM student. 

Kuntz, according to court documents, was naked at the time of the second alleged attack, and one of the survivors said he demanded their clothes. 

“‘He had that look like he wanted to fucking kill us,’” one of the survivors said, according to an affidavit. 

The 38-year-old Kuntz has lived in Missoula and Helena over the past decade, and worked as a DJ in Bozeman. He has a criminal record going back to a conviction for burglary in Missoula in 2010. Kuntz was tried and acquitted in 2014 in Gallatin County District Court for a rape charge. In 2018, a Gallatin County judge sentenced him to 10 years in prison for threatening the lives of a detective and district attorney involved in the rape case against him in a Facebook post.

The Bozeman Daily Chronicle reported that Kuntz wrote that if each person did not deposit $500,000 in his bank account, he would beat them to death with a baseball bat. According to his sentencing, he had five years of his sentence suspended. He was released from custody in January 2020.

A Facebook account linked to Kuntz contains the post “IT HAS BEGUN. ANGELS OF LIGHT STAND UP. OUR TIME IS NOW” sent less than an hour before officers responded to the first reported assault. 

According to court documents, officials found Kuntz with bloodied hands and “at least two stab wounds.” Medical workers transported him to the hospital via Flight Life. 

“The investigation continues, but all of the victims and witnesses of that day have all been interviewed,” Short said. 

Short could not comment on Kuntz’s condition as of Tuesday, and he still has not been booked into Missoula County Jail.