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Moorhead man faces charges in one-hour Bismarck standoff

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Bismarck, ND - A driver from Moorhead refused to follow a Highway Patrol trooper’s commands near here about 4:30 p.m. Monday, initiating a one-hour standoff before he was arrested, according to a state Highway Patrol release.

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Michael Oconnell, 39, was stopped on suspicion of driving while impaired as he was westbound on Interstate 94 just east of Bismarck.

After Oconnell refused to follow instructions while stopped near exit 161, the trooper called for backup from Bismarck police, Parole and Probation, and additional state troopers.

After about an hour of negotiations, Oconnell left the vehicle and was taken to a local hospital for an evaluation.

Exit 161 was closed during the standoff.

Oconnell faces charges of driving under suspension and possession of drug paraphernalia, both misdemeanors, in Burleigh County.

Online North Dakota court records show that Oconnell pleaded guilty to driving under the influence in 2002 and driving with a suspended or revoked license in 2001, both misdemeanors.

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