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Man says crime started as prank; pleads not guilty

Eddie Ramirez Jr. says he didn't plan to pose as a military officer when he pulled over a pickup in Cass County last month. Ramirez said Wednesday he and a buddy were driving along Cass County 15 about five miles south of Interstate 94 about 2 a....

Eddie Ramirez Jr.

Eddie Ramirez Jr. says he didn't plan to pose as a military officer when he pulled over a pickup in Cass County last month.

Ramirez said Wednesday he and a buddy were driving along Cass County 15 about five miles south of Interstate 94 about 2 a.m. Nov. 7 when they decided to test out his newly installed flashing blue and red racing lights on the grill of his Ford Taurus.

But the West Fargo man driving the pickup in front of them took the flashing lights to mean he was being pulled over.

Ramirez, 20, said he wasn't sure what to do when Jeremy Lindstrom, 32, pulled his Chevy Avalanche to the side of the road, but knew he "had to think of something."

Ramirez said when he got out of his car and began walking up to the pickup, he had no intention of saying anything to Lindstrom until he saw that Lindstrom already had his driver's license and insurance card out.

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"He opened his window, and it was too late by then," Ramirez said.

Ramirez, of Fargo, said he never identified himself as a military police officer, but believes Lindstrom could have gotten that impression from his cargo pants and black

T-shirt.

He said he told Lindstrom his vehicle matched a description from a robbery at Bud's Amoco in Moorhead, where Ramirez used to work, but also told Lindstrom he was free to leave.

"If I could get a hold of him, I'd apologize to him," Ramirez said after pleading not guilty in Cass County District Court to a misdemeanor charge of impersonating a law enforcement officer.

Lindstrom has told The Forum that Ramirez did identify himself as a military officer and told him he was looking for a White Chevy Tahoe in connection with a Moorhead bar robbery.

Ramirez said the only reason he pleaded not guilty Wednesday was to gain more time to raise money for any fines he may receive.

Ramirez, 1202 1st Ave. N., has been released on $2,000 bond. He faces a maximum penalty of one year imprisonment and a $2,000 fine if convicted of the Class A misdemeanor.

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Readers can reach Forum reporter Brittany Lawonn at (701) 241-5541 Man says crime started as prank; pleads not guilty Brittany Lawonn 20071213

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