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Nathan Preston, who became embroiled with law enforcement on July 28 after he fired several shots at a pair of pit bull dogs with a .40 cal. handgun, has filed a $25,000 lawsuit in small claims court claiming false arrest and that city officials have violated his right to defend himself by confiscating two of his weapons including one he claims was not used in the shooting.
At 1:45 a.m. on July 20, Preston, 24, of 718 Second Street Southwest, Valley City, reported he was outside in a sleeping bag near a fire when two pit bulls approached. Preston's friend Jeanine Russell, 39, began screaming that the dogs were approaching and chased them away with a stick. Preston then walked to a boat in his front yard when the dogs turned and began to advance on him again.
According to a press release from the Valley City Police Department, Preston then instructed the woman to get a gun. When she returned, Preston fired several shots at the dog, wounding one.
According to Valley City City Attorney Russ Myhre, police confiscated the weapon Preston had and another that was on the property, a .45 caliber handgun.
According to official records, Preston called 9-1-1 at 2:22 a.m. and exclaimed, "Shots Fired! Shots Fired!"
"I'm interested in knowing what happened in that 27 minutes," Myhre said of the time between the incident and when Preston called 9-1-1.
According to Myhre, police are still investigating the events of that night and could still be filed against Preston. Witnesses and the veterinarian who treated the injured dog all claim the dog was very gentle, said Myhre who pointed out that North Dakota is not a "Stand Your Ground" state.
According to public records, Preston was arrested in Minot in 2012 after entering a business carrying a holstered handgun. He was charged and tried with carrying a concealed weapon. The concealed weapon was dismissed and Preston pled guilty to misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
According to Valley City Police Chief Fred Thompson, police are still investigating the incident, and the weapons confiscated by police are part of that ongoing investigation.
Read this story in Friday's Times-Record.