The West Fargo Police Department does not normally comment on open investigations. However there are things being portrayed in the media and on social media that are irresponsible and inaccurate with regards to the video outside Menards 11 a.m. Friday, June 5. Some individuals have gone so far as to inaccurately report the name of an officer presumed to be involved in the incident, and publish personal information on social media. This irresponsible and reckless behavior has led to an officer being accused of something and he was not there. Due to the safety of our officers, and their families, I am requesting that any personal information regarding West Fargo officers be immediately removed from any post.
Last Friday, a male walked into Menards with his child, which is a violation of the store policy which is clearly posted on signage outside the store. This male was asked to leave by three separate employees, including the store manager on duty at that time. The male refused to leave, and made comments that his son was being discriminated because of his age. He also began to film employees and the interaction in the store at this time. He walked past the signs to the back of the store as the employees tried to stop him.
According to Menards employees he was agitated, uncooperative and rude. He was yelling at the employees while being told to leave, with his son present. During this time, the store employees called for police assistance to remove him from the store. He continued to yell at staff as he finally left the building after refusing to leave as directed on several occasions.
When the officer arrived, the officer encountered the male in the video. He did tell the officer that he had a gun. He was still agitated, and continued to ignore the officer’s instructions to maintain safety for everyone, including himself, his child, the officer and bystanders in the area. At this time, the officer’s goal was to simply trying to speak to him and hear his side of the events. This call was not a concealed carry issue. It was a response to a complaint by the employees of Menards of Disorderly Conduct and Criminal Trespass of an individual who happened to be armed with legal firearm. Per the store’s request, the police informed the individual he is banned from the store for any future business, all due to his behavior and actions.
Due to the individual’s continued state of agitation and non-compliance, the officer called for assistance and continued to provide instructions to keep the scene as safe as possible. It is at this time the recording begins. Once the other officers arrived on scene he was able to be controlled safely. He was never arrested or charged with a crime, but he was Criminally Trespassed from Menards.
The West Fargo Police Department has not received a formal complaint on this matter from the individual in the video, but the police department will still look into the incident thoroughly to identify any issues with what happened. Once the investigation is completed the names of the officers involved and the results of that investigation will also be released. The police department will not provide further comment until the investigation is completed.