VALLEY CITY, N.D. — The Cass County State's Atttorney's Office announced Wednesday, Nov. 28, that no charges will be filed in the death of 72-year-old Warren Lindvold, who died after he was arrested July 15 by Valley City police on suspicion of DUI.
The North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation looked into the case after Lindvold died in a Fargo hospital on July 21, six days after his arrest and detention in the Barnes County Jail.
The Cass County State's Attorney's Office reviewed the case for possible charges, but Wednesday's announcement stated that while Lindvold's death was tragic, "the evidence does not support criminal charges against anyone."
Barnes County State’s Attorney Carl Martineck said in August that Lindvold's death would be investigated to determine whether a criminal act was to blame for Lindvold's death.
Camera footage related to Lindvold's arrest included footage from the traffic stop, which indicated Lindvold was not successful in providing a useable breath sample at the scene.
The footage also indicated that after he was handcuffed, Lindvold expressed to police he was in extreme pain and had difficulty moving.
Before being booked into the jail, Lindvold was taken by ambulance to Mercy Hospital in Valley City and was returned to the jail after being medically cleared by hospital staff.
Jail video and a police report indicate jail staff and a police officer carried Lindvold to a cell.
Later, during regular rounds, jail staff observed Lindvold sleeping in his bed and then on the floor.
Lindvold later informed jail staff that he was unable to get off the floor or move his hands and that he couldn’t feel his arms or legs.
An ambulance was requested by jail staff and Lindvold was taken to the hospital, where he later died.
An autopsy indicated the cause of death was a broken neck.
In the video of Lindvold's arrest, he can be heard telling police: “Please, I beg you. I’m in constant pain here.” At another point he said: “Let me die. Uff da.”
The announcement released Wednesday by prosecutor Reid Brady states that Lindvold's suffered a fractured spine due to a probable fall from a standing height. The manner of death was ruled "accidental," Brady said.
Inflammatory arthritis, which Lindvold suffered from, was listed as a significant contributing factor in his death, the announcement said.
"No evidence suggests that law enforcement officers or others caused Lindvold's death or committed any crime," Brady said in the written statement.
"The medical examiner indicated that Lindvold's death was an accident — probably due to a fall which caused the fracture of his cervical spine," Brady added.