FARGO — A Fargo man has been criminally charged in court after investigators alleged he hit a state trooper with his vehicle on purpose, but he said he didn't intend to hurt the officer, according to court documents.
Cass County prosecutors filed several charges against Andrew Paul Booth, 26, on Friday, Oct. 16, including felony counts of attempted aggravated assault with a dangerous weapon and reckless endangerment. He also faces a misdemeanor count of fleeing law enforcement.
The charges stem from a Wednesday night pursuit in Fargo. According to court documents:
The North Dakota Highway Patrol tried to pull over a 2006 Honda Pilot that hit 105 mph. The vehicle’s driver, later identified as Booth, was driving west just before 8:30 p.m. on Interstate 94 when Trooper Hanson Daniel started to pursue him near exit 351, North Dakota’s first exit on the interstate when drivers are westbound from Minnesota.
The Honda weaved through traffic and almost hit another vehicle as it exited onto 45th Street South just west of the Red River Zoo.
After turning right to head north on 45th Street, Booth turned his tail lights off near 13th Avenue South. He then turned left to head west on the avenue.
Hanson told dispatchers he was able to obtain enough information about the vehicle, including a license plate number, a criminal complaint said. He ended the pursuit for safety reasons, the Highway Patrol said.
Hanson and Trooper Joshua Page then went to the home where the vehicle was registered. As Hanson was speaking with Booth’s father, the defendant returned home, saw Page outside and accelerated toward the officer, according to court documents.
The Honda collided with a blue pickup in the driveway, the complaint said. Page was hit by the Honda in his right knee, but he was able to jump out of the way in time to avoid being pinned between the pickup and car, according to court documents.
Officers drew their weapons but did not shoot, the complaint said. They took Booth into custody.
The two officers suffered minor injuries but both have since returned to duty, Highway Patrol Sgt. Wade Kadrmas said.
Booth told law enforcement he was going from his house to the library and he was in a hurry to get there, according to court documents. He said he was going 100 mph “out of habit,” court documents said.
When asked about running into Page, Boothe said he wasn’t trying to hit the trooper and that he lost control of the vehicle, according to the documents.
Initially, Booth was arrested on suspicion of attempted murder, as well as other charges. Cass County Assistant State’s Attorney Kimberlee Hegvik said Booth’s alleged actions met the elements of attempted aggravated assault with a weapon better than attempted murder.
An attorney for Booth was not listed in court records as of 1:30 p.m. Friday. He remains in custody at Cass County Jail.