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Baker man charged in shooting incident


FERGUS FALLS, Minn. -- A Baker man has been charged with assault for firing a semi-automatic pistol Thursday outside a Rothsay truck stop.

Justin Fankhanel, 20, was charged with second-degree assault Friday in Otter Tail County District Court.

The shooting incident Thursday may have stemmed from the ongoing sale of a used car, authorities said.

According to court records, a Rothsay man had agreed to buy a car from Fankhanel's girlfriend for $50 per month.

When the man fell behind on payments for the vehicle, Fankhanel and the woman tried to repossess the car.


Police intervened in the dispute, and both parties agreed to meet Thursday at the Rothsay Truck Stop and Cafe, court records said.

The man told police he had agreed to a payment schedule for the vehicle and he left the truck stop to inspect the car shortly before 10 p.m.

But the man said after he climbed inside the vehicle, Fankhanel emerged from the truck stop with a handgun, court documents said.

The victim told police he started to drive away, but Fankhanel followed on foot and fired three or four shots with the gun. He didn't know where the shots were directed.

Fankhanel was arrested by a Barnesville police officer late Thursday night. A .45-caliber semi-automatic pistol was found in his possession.

According to court records, Fankhanel said he fired the gun into the air after the other man drove toward him.

He was charged with second-degree assault, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in prison and a $14,000 fine.

Fankhanel remained in the Otter Tail County Jail late Thursday afternoon.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Cole Short at (701) 241-5557

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