WDAY: The News Leader

Published September 14, 2011, 03:59 PM

Safety is First Concern for Sheriff When Apprehending Lakota Family Accused in Standoff

LAKOTA, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Six members of the Brossart family in Lakota are wanted by the Nelson County Sheriff's Department.

LAKOTA, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Six members of the Brossart family in Lakota are wanted by the Nelson County Sheriff's Department.

The family won't leave their propery and the Nelson County sheriff is very concerned for their safety and that of his officers.

It all started at the end of June when the Brossart's had an armed standoff with the Nelson County Sheriff's Department when the family wouldn't give their neighbor's cattle back.

All six of the wanted family members are facing charges including terrorizing, harassment and providing false information to law enforcement.

Because the family has been difficult to work with and guns have already been an issue, sheriff Kelly Janke is carefully planning his next step.

"We are working with teams of experts in this type of matter and we're trying to find the best possible way to resolve this," Janke said.

Janke says this situation is fairly unique.

"I would say it's pretty unusual for the state of North Dakota," Janke said.

The latest family member with a warrant out for his arrest is Rodney Brossart for failing to appear in court.

"So he can be taken into custody as well as the other family members. Susan, Abby, Alex, Jacob, Thomas. All six of them have outstanding warrants with Nelson County," Janke said.

Janke says bringing the family into custody isn't as easy at it sounds.

"Some perception out there that we should go out there and just arrest them. It's not as easy as that," Janke said. "The history that we've had with the family over time and now the latest incident of brandishing firearms against law enforcement."

Janke says safety is his first concern.

"I have to make sure that when I send officers out to the residence that I know it's going to be resolved in a peaceful manner," Janke said.

This entire situation has some community members concerned also.

"I belong with the Lakota ambulance and I think we're all a little nervous. What's going to happen with the Sheriff's department? We just hope this can all be settled quietly and with no incidents," a Lakota resident said.

And over at the Brossart farmstead, the family seems to be going about business as usual.

"Simply ignoring the fact that they have arrest warrants is not helping the matter," Janke said.

The Brossarts refused to speak with WDAZ reporter Dantae Anderson at their farmstead on Wednesday.