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Dilworth man accused of driving drunk while talking on cellphone, crashing into police car

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By Emily Welker / The Forum

MOORHEAD – A Dilworth man faces four felony charges after prosecutors accused him of driving his car while drunk into a police officer’s squad car, then leading the officer on a chase, all the while talking on his cellphone.

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Court documents filed against Robert Dean Wiebrand, 50, say that after Wiebrand pulled into his driveway, he continued talking on his cellphone and refused the officer’s request to get out of the car.

A statement of probable cause filed Monday in Clay County District Court says Dilworth police officer Andrew McFarlane was stopped at a red light at Main Street and Center Avenue last Friday when a southbound driver who was talking on a cellphone made a wide turn and hit his squad car.

The driver, later identified as Wiebrand, then sped up and drove away from the scene. Wiebrand didn’t stop when the officer put his lights on and pursued him.

The officer caught up to Wiebrand in Wiebrand’s Dilworth driveway.

The officer noticed Wiebrand smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech and was unsteady on his feet.

Wiebrand complained of chest pains and was taken to the Sanford Medical Center emergency room, where he refused testing of his blood, breath and urine, according to court documents.

Wiebrand was charged Monday in Clay County District Court with two counts of driving while intoxicated, one count of fleeing a police officer in a motor vehicle and one count of negligent operation of a motor vehicle, all felonies.

He was also charged with one count of misdemeanor driving with a revoked license.

Wiebrand has prior convictions in June 2012 and June 2011 for driving under the influence, and a prior license revocation in 2005 for refusing to submit to an alcohol test.

Wiebrand’s bail was set at $12,000. His next court appearance is set for March 7.

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