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Fargo police arrest suspect in hit-and-run that left officer with 'significant' injury

FARGO – A man Fargo police arrested early Tuesday on suspicion of running over an officer with a van has a history of convictions for crimes ranging from robbery to assault.

Officers arrested Jack Michael Christensen, 49, at an apartment in the 1300 block of Eighth Avenue North about 4 a.m., said Lt. Joel Vettel.

Police located Christensen there about two hours earlier, and Christensen surrendered following a standoff resolved through negotiations.

Vettel said police believe Christensen was the driver of a van that struck an officer in the parking lot of Busy Bubbles laundry, 2102 12th St. N., about 8 p.m. Monday.

The injured officer was 25-year-old Brent Malone, who started with the Fargo Police Department in July 2012, Vettel said.

Malone was treated at Sanford Medical Center for several hours with what Vettel called a “significant injury” that will require ongoing medical treatment.

Vettel didn’t specify what sort of injury Malone sustained. He has since been released from the hospital.

Vettel said Malone had been looking to question Christensen about a disturbance that happened about 1 a.m. Sunday in the same apartment building where Christensen was later arrested.

In the Sunday morning incident, Christensen is suspected of injuring a 20-year-old male with a knife and his fists, according to Vettel, who said the victim in that assault was transported to Sanford Medical Center with injuries that were not life-threatening.

The Monday night incident began after police received a tip that Christensen was at the laundry and an officer approached the van Christensen was sitting in.

Christensen then put the vehicle into gear and accelerated at a high rate of speed, striking the officer, Vettel said.

Vettel said Malone will not immediately return to duty.

Christensen several convictions in Cass County District Court extending back to the early 1990s.

The cases include convictions for robbery, simple assault, unauthorized use of a vehicle, terrorizing, harassment and theft of property.

Christensen was convicted in 2006 of a charge of leaving the scene of an accident.

Charges stemming from the Monday night incident will be filed in Cass County District Court sometime today, with Christensen likely making a court appearance sometime this afternoon, said Tristan Van de Streek, an assistant Cass County state’s attorney.

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