EVANSTON — An Evanston outfitter was arrested last week after he allegedly assaulted a peace officer over a years-long trespassing dispute. Dustin Lym, 41, who owns and operates Big Rack Outfitters and is also a teacher at Mountain View Middle School, was arrested by the Uinta County Sheriff’s Office on Thursday, Sept. 3.
According to the arrest report, Lym leases land north of Evanston from the Martin Ranch. Lym told deputy Cameron Winberg that someone had shot a deer about 150 yards into the private property, so he called Nick Roberts, Evanston’s game warden for the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD), to investigate. The report indicates Lym did not want to press charges, but it appears the three hunters involved in the trespassing did not leave the scene immediately, as they later told Winberg they had seen Lym and Roberts arguing. Lym told Winberg, according to the report, that the outfitter “had been fighting with Warden Roberts for several years over this same issue and it is now starting to mess with his livelihood.”
Shortly after dealing with the trespassers, a fiery exchange occurred between Lym and Roberts.
“Dustin and Warden Roberts began arguing; it got really heated and they were in each other’s face,” Winberg wrote after speaking to Lym about the incident. “At some point, Dustin’s and Warden Roberts’ heads collided with one another.” Lym allegedly told Winberg the collision was a “mutual head-butt” that as “Warden Roberts’ head went up and Dustin’s head went down; it just happened.”
Roberts’ account of the incident, however, is different from Lym’s. According to the report, Roberts told Winberg that after the he dealt with the hunters, “Dustin became upset and angry that Game and Fish doesn’t put proper signage around his property.” Roberts said he was trying to understand why Lym was so angry when Lym rushed toward Roberts and “got in his face,” yelling expletives.
Roberts, according to the report, told Winberg that he then pushed Lym out of his face and yelled for him to get back. “After taking a few steps back, Dustin came forward again and put his face against Warden Roberts, then forcefully, using the top of his forehead, hit the bridge of Warden Roberts’ nose, causing him to fall back.”
Roberts said he felt blood running down his nose before he “finished speaking with the trespassers,” and later learned that Lym had called the sheriff’s office to report the incident.
Lym had been drinking, he told Winberg, and Roberts requested a breathalyzer test to show that he was sober, which the results confirmed. Lym’s blood-alcohol content was .048, according to the report.
“I advised Dustin I believed he lost his temper and, combined with drinking, that I did believe he used his head to hit Warden Roberts and that he (Roberts) is an officer in uniform; therefore, he is under arrest for assaulting a peace officer,” Winberg wrote. Lym was taken to the Uinta County Detention Center without further incident.
The following day, Roberts provided his own incident report to investigators, which indicated hunters were present when the alleged assault occurred, so Winberg contacted two men, who both said they saw Lym and Roberts arguing but did not see the alleged assault. However, both told Winberg they believed Lym to be the “primary aggressor” in the incident.
Roberts was treated for his nose injury at Uinta Urgent Care in Evanston, which determined there were no broken bones from the incident.
WGFD Regional Wildlife Supervisor Todd Graham told the Herald he cannot comment because the case is pending. Roberts said the same.
Lym is charged with one count of interference with a peace officer causing bodily injury — a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. He’s scheduled to be in court today, Friday, Sept. 11, for a preliminary hearing in Circuit Court to determine whether there is enough evidence to pursue the felony charge in Third District Court.