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Published May 03, 2013, 11:34 AM

Mercedes smashes through front doors of Cass County Jail

FARGO - A car driven by a 50-year-old man crashed through the front doors into the foyer of the Cass County Jail about 6:45 this morning.

By: Forum Staff Reports, inforum.com, Forum News Service

FARGO - A car driven by a 50-year-old man crashed through the front doors into the foyer of the Cass County Jail about 6:45 this morning.

Capt. Judy Tollefson, who oversees the jail at 450 34th St. S., said the driver of the Mercedes came to the jail for his court-ordered breath test as part of the 24/7 sobriety program, which he does twice a day, "and somehow ended up in our foyer."

Tollefson said there was no explanation yet as to what occurred. A couple of jailers who had gone out to start their vehicles heard the crash and went to investigate.

Sgt. Tara Morris, spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Office, said it did not appear to first responders that the man had been drinking. No one saw him crash into the building.

The driver, who was not identified, was taken from the scene by ambulance to a hospital to be checked out. It's unclear whether he had any injuries, but Fargo Deputy Police Chief Dave Todd said the driver was awake at the hospital, where police interviewed him.

Because of the strange nature of the incident, the Red River Valley Regional Bomb Squad was called to the scene to make sure the car was safe before it was pulled out of the foyer, Morris said.

"We're just taking precautions," she said.

A bomb squad robot searched the car and found nothing suspicious, and the car was towed to the Police Department's accident lot, Todd said.

“Now we’re just kind of investigating things to see how and why that (crash) happened," he said.

The investigation will include looking at whether the car may have experienced a mechanical failure and talking to the driver's doctors about his medical condition, Todd said.

The driver hasn't been cited or charged with a crime, he said. A report will eventually be sent to city or county prosecutors for review.

It's not the first time someone has crashed through the jail doors. Tollefson said a similar incident happened about five years ago.

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