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Man, 21, said to be cop

A former Tioga, N.D., police officer who resigned from his job in September is accused in Cass County District Court of pretending to be a Fargo police officer in conversations over the phone.

A former Tioga, N.D., police officer who resigned from his job in September is accused in Cass County District Court of pretending to be a Fargo police officer in conversations over the phone.

Andrew Paul Rodke, 21, Hawley, Minn., faces a charge of impersonating an official for telephone conversations in which he identified himself as being employed by the Fargo Police Department.

He has pleaded not guilty this week.

According to court documents filed in that case:

Fargo police received a report Aug. 25 from a man who said he was receiving cell phone calls from someone claiming to be a Fargo police officer.

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In the calls, the person claiming to be an officer said he wanted to talk to the man's girlfriend because she was in trouble.

The caller hung up when the boyfriend pressed him for his badge number and other information.

When the boyfriend dialed the number showing on the phone, the person who answered said, "Officer Rodke, Fargo PD," court documents said.

An actual Fargo police officer who later dialed the number heard a similar answer.

When the person who answered the phone realized he was talking to a Fargo police officer, he said it was a misunderstanding and that he hadn't answered the phone, "Fargo PD," but rather, "Tioga PD," court documents state.

Rodke then identified himself as a Tioga police officer.

The Fargo investigator told Rodke his phone calls had to stop and concluded the conversation.

Lights out

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Fargo police checked Rodke's claims and learned Rodke had been a Tioga police officer until he resigned effective Sept. 17.

Cass County court documents state Rodke was on administrative leave from the Tioga Police Department when the phone calls were made in August.

Tioga Police Chief Larry Maize told Fargo officials Rodke became intoxicated along with another individual and the two shot out street lights in Tioga, court documents state.

Maize also said the pair went into rural Mountrail (N.D.) County, where they removed stop signs and shot out lights, the court documents said.

A number of charges are pending against Rodke in the Tioga area, including criminal mischief, discharging a weapon within city limits and theft, according to court documents filed in Cass County.

Rodke told an investigator with the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation that he made calls to a woman after getting her phone number off the social networking Web site Facebook.

Rodke said he talked to a man on the phone but denied he identified himself as a Fargo police officer, the court documents state.

The woman whose phone was called told investigators she worked at West Acres and knew Rodke only as a security guard who had worked at the shopping center.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555 Man, 21, said to be cop Dave Olson 20071110

I'm a reporter and a photographer and sometimes I create videos to go with my stories.

I graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead and in my time with The Forum I have covered a number of beats, from cops and courts to business and education.

I've also written about UFOs, ghosts, dinosaur bones and the planet Pluto.

You may reach me by phone at 701-241-5555, or by email at dolson@forumcomm.com
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