Dog Shooter Goes to Court
A Valley City man who is suing the city for $25,000 had his first pre-trial hearing Tuesday on disorderly conduct charges after he said he shot at two dogs.
The defendant was arrested weeks after he fired several shots at two pit bull dogs he said were threatening him and his girlfriend.
While the man did not plead to the charges Tuesday, he did request that his weapons be returned; a request Municipal Court Judge Tom Goven denied citing the defendant's past conviction for disorderly conduct in a Minot case that also involved firearms.
On July 28, the defendant and his girlfriend were enjoying a backyard campfire at the defendant's Valley City home when two pit bulls approached. The dogs were frightened off once only to return, according to the defendant's statement to police.
Feeling threatened, the defendant shot at the dogs with a .40 caliber handgun, hitting and injuring one of the dogs.
After the incident, the defendant called 9-1-1. When the Valley City Police Department arrived, they confiscated two weapons, the .40 caliber used in the shooting and a .45 caliber that was also on the scene.
After the incident, the defendant filed a $25,000 lawsuit in small claims court against Valley City claiming that the city violated his right to defend himself.
On Wednesday, Aug. 21 the defendant was arrested for disorderly conduct for his use of a firearm within the city limits during the incident.
The terms of the warrant, signed by Goven, required that the defendant not possess any firearms, which the judge upheld during the hearing at the urging of Valley City City Attorney Russ Myhre in spite of the defendant's plea to return some of them so he could go hunting.
"This is not about guns," Myhre told Goven. "This about irresponsible behavior. This is about an irresponsible pattern of behavior."
Myhre went on to explain that the guns were part of an ongoing investigation.
The defendant, who acted as his own attorney Tuesday, should secure representation soon. His attorney, according to Goven, could opt to file his own motions to the court. The defendant opted to wait to plead his case in district court with an attorney present.