Fargo man pleads guilty to Amtrak assaultGrand Forks, ND - A Fargo man pleaded guilty Monday to assaulting two Amtrak train conductors Friday after the westbound passenger train pulled out of Grand Forks.
By: Stephen J. Lee, Forum News Service, Grand Forks Herald, Forum News Service
Grand Forks, ND - A Fargo man pleaded guilty Monday to assaulting two Amtrak train conductors Friday after the westbound passenger train pulled out of Grand Forks.
Preston Freeman, 29, appeared Monday in state district court in Grand Forks via interactive TV from the county jail.
Prosecutor David Jones told state District Judge Jon Jensen that Freeman “became combative,” and struck one conductor three times and another conductor one time.
“It appears alcohol was a significant factor,” Jones said.
Grand Forks County Sheriff Bob Rost said a deputy was dispatched to Larimore, N.D., about 30 miles west of Grand Forks, at about 3:30 p.m., Friday, where the train stopped and Freeman was taken into custody.
“One of the conductors got hit in the face and had a scratch on his neck,” Rost said.
Freeman said he didn’t want a lawyer and would plead guilty to the misdemeanor charge that carries a top penalty of 30 days in jail.
“I just made a bad choice, a bad decision by drinking alcohol on the train,” Freeman said. “I’m guilty for it, is all I have to say.”
Jensen, following Jones’ recommendation, sentenced Freeman to 30 days with 15 days suspended during a year of unsupervised probation and to pay $225 in court fees by Feb. 10. Freeman also will be responsible for any restitution determined for the two conductors. With credit for the four days he served through Monday, Freeman is slated to get out of jail Jan. 25.