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No criminal charges after video shows Fargo bar worker repeatedly hit patron

Prosecutors said they cannot proceed without a statement from the patron.

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In this still image from a video, Old Broadway bar employees hold down a male patron as one employee elbows the man in the head early July 11, 2021, in downtown Fargo. Submitted image

FARGO — A bar employee seen in a video repeatedly elbowing a patron in the head won’t face criminal charges after the patron declined to come forward to give a statement to investigators.

Prosecutors will not proceed with a criminal case without more information, including a statement from the man struck multiple times in the video captured July 11 outside the Old Broadway bar in downtown Fargo, Cass County prosecutor SheraLynn Ternes wrote in a letter obtained Monday, Oct. 11, by The Forum through an open records request.

“If additional information becomes available, the state will reconsider,” Ternes wrote in the Sept. 27 letter declining to pursue charges.

The decision comes after video posted to social media appeared to show several Old Broadway staff holding down a man, later confirmed by the Fargo Police Department to be a patron, on the sidewalk outside 22 Broadway N. A bearded man wearing black pants and a red and black shirt is seen striking the patron several times.

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The Forum is not naming the bearded man since he has not been charged, but police confirmed he worked for the Old Broadway at the time of the incident. The letter also identifies the patron by his last name only.

An attorney claiming to represent the patron contacted Fargo police on Aug. 9 to request all communication go through the attorney, according to the declination letter. Police told the attorney they needed a statement from the patron, but communication ceased after that, the letter said.

Fargo police forwarded their investigation documents to the prosecutor’s office after hearing from The Forum that Cass County State’s Attorney Birch Burdick said a victim statement, while helpful, isn’t always needed to prosecute a case.

The Fargo Police Department confirmed the case has been closed.

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