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Coast guard impersonator gets deferred prosecution agreement

A 33-year-old Polson man charged with three counts of impersonating a public servant will have those charges dismissed as part of a deferred prosecution agreement. According to court records, Ryan William Lowden had a habit of donning a Coast Guard vest and pulling various boaters on Flathead Lake over for so called “saftey boat inspections.” Multiple parties reported being stopped by Lowden in both the summer of 2016 and 2017. The witnesses stated that Lowden would ride his personal watercraft out of nowhere and into the path of the boater forcing them to stop. The stops would usually occur south of the Armed Forces Memorial Bridge. The watercraft was equipped with flashing lights and Lowden is alleged to have provided a badge number to his victims in some cases.

Lowden initially denied having a Coast Guard vest when first questioned by Lake County Sheriff’s Detective Rick Lenz. Pursuant to a search warrant, a Coast Guard vest was found in a secreted pit in the crawl space of Lowden’s parents’ home. Officers also found the watercraft with the flashing lights at the home.

Lake County Deputy Attorney Ben Anciaux says Lowden has been receiving mental health treatment at the Veterans Affairs clinic at Fort Harrison while the case against him proceeded. As part of the conditions of the deferred prosecution agreement, Lowden must continue participating with his mental health treatment and refrain from alcohol use.

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