- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 19, 2015

FORT BENTON, Mont. (AP) - One man has been arrested and another is being sought for assaulting two hitchhikers who were left in a remote area near Big Sandy.

Chouteau County Attorney Stephen Gannon said John Michael Merrill was arrested Friday on suspicion of felony aggravated assault and misdemeanor assault.

Officers are searching for Matthew Joseph Saddler.

Prosecutors allege Saddler picked up the couple north of Roundup on May 6 and drove them to a residence on the Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation. Court records say Saddler and Merrill forced the Michigan residents into a car trunk and drove them to an area east of Big Sandy where they were beaten and abandoned.

The man suffered bleeding in his brain, a broken rib and a broken nose.

Saddler is a Native American in his early 30s. He is 5 feet, 9 inches tall and 190 pounds.

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