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Published October 22, 2012, 11:30 PM

Campaigning Fargo candidate finds body under tree

FARGO – The lifeless legs poked out from underneath the looming evergreen like those of the Wicked Witch of the West, but Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, was unsure if he had stumbled across a Halloween display or something more serious.

By: Erik Burgess, INFORUM

FARGO – The lifeless legs poked out from underneath the looming evergreen like those of the Wicked Witch of the West, but Sen. Tim Flakoll, R-Fargo, was unsure if he had stumbled across a Halloween display or something more serious.

Flakoll, campaigning for Senate District 44 re-election, was going door to door Monday afternoon at the intersection of Fourth Street North and 19th Avenue North when he came across a body lying face down in someone’s yard.

“There are some very sophisticated displays in people’s front yards, and so that threw me off a little bit,” Flakoll said.

So the lawmaker reached down, grabbed the man’s leg and discovered it was true flesh and bone. He called 911 and said emergency crews arrived within minutes.

“I was treating it like a life-or-death situation,” he said.

Assistant Fire Chief Gary Lorenz said first responders were able to wake the man fairly easily, and he refused to be transported anywhere.

“Turns out the man was fine,” Lorenz said. “He had just laid down to take a little nap. It looks like he had too much to drink.”

Homeowner Craig Barke said he didn’t know the man but that his neighborhood sees a fair amount of foot traffic. Barke added that he wasn’t bothered that his yard was being used for nap time.

“I’m glad he was all right,” Barke said, estimating that the man was around 20 years old. “I wasn’t afraid. I’m 55. He’s 20. He’s not going to beat me up or anything.”

It was a first for Flakoll, who said he has visited at least 30,000 houses in his political career.

“I’ve been doing door to door for 14 years and never had to call 911 before,” he said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Erik Burgess at (701) 241-5518

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