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Fargo man pleads not guilty to attacking girls, using racial slur

The FBI is investigating whether Larry Baldner should face federal charges.

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Larry Baldner

FARGO — A Fargo man has pleaded not guilty to charges alleging he assaulted two girls and used a racial slur against a group of children.

Larry Wayne Baldner, 73, was slated to appear Thursday, Oct. 21, in Cass County District Court on charges of aggravated assault against a victim under the age of 12, preventing arrest and simple assault. His attorney, Erica Skogen Hovey, filed a waiver for a preliminary hearing and entered not guilty pleas on Baldner's behalf Wednesday.

Prosecutors alleged Baldner got into a confrontation with an 11-year-old girl on the sidewalk of his and her duplex in the 2700 block of 33rd ½ Avenue South. The girl, who lives in the unit next to Baldner, was playing basketball with other children in the duplex's shared driveway when Balndner attempted to pull in with his vehicle, according to a criminal complaint.

Baldner told the children to get off his property and then used an anti-Black slur against them, the complaint alleged. He also said, “Your skin is the color of s---,” the girl told police.

After allegedly being slapped by Baldner, the girl went into her garage to get her sister, the complaint said. When the two confronted Baldner, he grabbed the 11-year-old by her hair and neck and lifted her off the ground for about 5 seconds, the complaint said.

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The girl’s sister hit Baldner in the face, which allowed the girl to break free, the complaint said. One of her hair extensions was ripped from her head.

Baldner also hit the other girl in the face, the complaint said. When police arrived, he allegedly resisted arrest.

He claimed the children were mouthing off to him and that the two girls beat him up, the complaint said.

He has been released on bail.

The case has been sent to the FBI for review of whether Baldner should face federal charges.

Related Topics: CRIME AND COURTSCRIMEFARGO
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