Some tense moments wrapped up the month of May for local law enforcement officers. The month also saw a new police chief hired and one of the wilder Memorial Day weekends.
Fred Thompson, a recently-retired police captain from Henderson, Nev, was chosen from 39 candidates that were whittled down to 10 phone interviews and five face-to-face interviews. Thompson is a 29-year veteran of the Henderson Police Department.
As sewer work was underway in downtown Valley City on Thursday, May 31, workers uncovered a gas line on the south side of the high school.
Over Memorial Day weekend, two fights in progress were reported to police, one of which involved a man who was exposing his genitals near the Pizza Corner Restaurant, while Jaden Lee Bearinger, 31, of Valley City, was taken into custody by the Barnes County Sheriffâ€™s Department after found walking away from a vehicle he drove into a ditch. On Sunday police received a call from a woman who said her husband had fallen off the roof. The womanâ€™s son told police the man had actually died years ago. Police also responded to an argument between a mentally unstable woman and her intoxicated daughter, and arrested Sausha Marie Renfro, 26, of Valley City, for allegedly violating a protection order. On Memorial Day, police received a report of an alleged assault at the Sheyenne Care Center, but according the department, â€śsubjects involved here have Alzheimerâ€™s/dementia, do not remember the incident.â€ť A follow-up with management at the center has yet to produce any charges.
On Wednesday, May 23, a former Valley City resident called police to report her ex-husband as a missing person, but it was discovered the man had moved to Poland and did not want his ex-wife contacting him.
On Monday, May 21, two Valley City police officers and a Barnes County sheriffâ€™s deputy assisted Jamestown Police, the Stutsman County Sheriffâ€™s Department and the North Dakota Highway Patrol in the pursuit of Blake Curtis Dinger, 42, of Bloomer, Wisc., who was trying to elude law enforcement on Interstate 94. Spike strips were deployed, disabling the vehicle near mile marker 281. That same day, Police took Nicholis Adam Klubben, 21, into custody after allegedly threatening a woman with a rifle, slapping her and going after her dog.
At the Barnes County Commission meeting on Tuesday, May 15, Sheriff Randy McClaflin and Deputy Don Fieberger were on hand to congratulate Jamestown residents Cole Huber and Chelsey Fieberger, who rescued two individuals from a car that had driven into Hobart Lake on I-94.
On Monday, May 14, police arrested Lee Ray Bravebull Bredeson, 20, of Valley City, on suspicion of minor in possession and minor in consumption after a caller reported someone outside a southeast Valley City residence â€śyelling about beating people up.â€ť Bredeson was also taken into custody on Wednesday, May 9, on suspicion of inhalation of vapors after a caller reported a man passed out in an alley by the post office.
On Friday, May 11, rescue crews responded to the Little Dam in an unsuccessful effort to save Jodi Opatz Kvien, a 38-year-old mother of three, who had gone into the river to rescue her dog.
On Monday, May 7, the Valley City SWAT Team was mobilized to capture 18-year-old Vance Mey who had escaped from the sex offender unit of the Jamestown State Mental Hospital. Mey was taken back into custody about 30 minutes later by Jamestown police who had received a tip that he was hiding in a ravine near the Buffalo Scenic Road.