WDAY: The News Leader

Published August 22, 2013, 10:15 PM

Valley City man arrested after shooting dogs; claims self-defense

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - Police have arrested a Valley City man who shot at two dogs on his property for disorderly conduct.

By: Becky Parker, WDAY

Valley City, ND (WDAY TV) - There are new developments tonight on a story we've been following. Police have arrested a Valley City man who shot at two dogs on his property for disorderly conduct.

Nathan Preston says he feared for the safety of himself, his girlfriend and their two dogs. Days after filing a lawsuit against the city to reclaim his firearms, which were confiscated after the shooting, Nathan Preston was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. He says it was self-defense.

Three weeks after he shot at two dogs in his yard, police showed up at Nathan Preston's Valley City home. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct: A Class B misdemeanor.

Nathan Preston - Faces Disorderly Conduct: "I don't understand why I got charged, because I did exactly what state law says and everything else on protecting ourselves."

Preston says he and his girlfriend were in their yard enjoying a fire on July 28th when two pit bulls showed up. After failed attempts to scare them away, he shot them, fearing for the safety of his girlfriend, himself and their two dogs. Shortly after the incident, he contacted State Representative Dwight Kiefert for advice.

Dwight Kiefert - State Representative: "I listened to his story and it didn't sound right. I couldn't understand why the people that owned the dogs haven't been charged with having their dogs at-large."

Kiefert posted Preston's bail Wednesday night, and is also now in possession of Preston's firearms, which Preston can not have in his possession, according to the bond agreement.

Valley City Attorney Russell Myhre would not discuss the details of the case, except that an investigation of the incident is ongoing.

Russell Myhre - Valley City Attorney: "This case involves the irresponsible use of firearms within the city, in a residential area, near our main street, where citizens could have easily been injured or killed in this situation."

Myhre says he is confident that the facts will speak for themselves, and they will get a conviction. Preston, on the other hand, says he believes a jury would clear him.

Nathan Preston: "Am I worried about it? No. I'm really not. Am I upset about it? Yes. No person that defends their life should have to go defend against an ordinance of disorderly conduct or anything else."

Preston was convicted of disorderly conduct involving a firearm in Minot in May of 2012. He will make his initial court appearance in Valley City August 27th.

So far, the city has not located the two dogs involved in the shooting.