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Published September 12, 2011, 08:37 PM

Warrant Issued After Man Accused in Standoff Near Lakota, ND, Fails to Appear in Court

Sheriff: if family seen in public, contact authorities
LAKOTA, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A man accused in a nearly 16 hour-long armed standoff near Lakota in June didn't show up for a court appearance Monday.

By: WDAZ Staff Report,

LAKOTA, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A man accused in a nearly 16 hour-long armed standoff near Lakota in June didn't show up for a court appearance Monday.

A bench warrant was issued for Rodney Brossart, which allows for his arrest by authorities on sight.

Nelson County Sheriff Kelly Janke says his office is re-evaluating the situation after today. Janke says they're doing all they can to resolve it peacefully.

Janke asks that anyone who sees the Brossarts in public to not approach them directly and to notify the Sheriff's Department immediately.

Janke says that the situation has taken a lot of the department's time and has become a "daily thing" as they try to contact the family by phone and by working through third parties.

Janke also says more charges could soon be filed.

Rodney is accused in the June 23 standoff at his family's farmstead south of Lakota. Rodney's sons, Thomas, Alex and Jacob were charged with terrorizing in the incident.

Thomas, Alex and Jacob also had bench warrants issued after they failed to appear in court on August 26.

Janke said that the Brossarts have refused to leave their property.

Rodney's daughter, Abby, was charged with simple assault after she allegedly struck a sheriff's deputy on the arm as he was attempting to arrest her father.

An arrest warrant was issued for Abby after she allegedly called 911 to report that a Nelson County Sheriff's deputy made death threats against her. Janke said that accusation was false.

Susan Brossart, Rodney's wife, was charged in a July 29 incident in which she allegedly provided false information to law enforcement. She was charged and an arrest warrant was issued. Susan wasn't charged in connection with the standoff.

The brothers face a maximum sentence of five years in prison and/or a $5,000 fine.

On June 23, officers with the Nelson County Sheriff's Department were attempting to execute a search warrant at the Brossart property after six cattle, owned by a neighbor, wandered onto their property.

Rodney allegedly told two officers that if the cows went onto his land, they wouldn't return, according to a criminal complaint.

The six cattle were three cow-calf pairs valued at $6,000.

Rodney refused to allow the officers access to the cattle and resisted when officers tried to arrest him. Rodney eventually was tazed and two officers subdued and handcuffed him.

During his arrest, Rodney allegedly yelled to his son to "go get that" out of an adjacent pickup, according to the complaint. One of the officers blocked Jacob Brossart from the pickup, which contained two rifles resting on the front seat.

After being arrested and placed in a squad car, Rodney allegedly caused over $1,000-worth of damage to the car. He's charged with criminal mischief in that incident.

As officers returned to the property after arresting Rodney and Abby, they were met by the three brothers carrying high-powered rifles, according to Sheriff Janke.

The brothers allegedly pointed the rifles at the officers who were attempting to execute a search warrant. A criminal complaint says that the brothers also ran toward the officers, who then retreated to a safe distance.

At about 10:45 p.m. the Grand Forks SWAT team and numerous other local agencies backed off, but kept in contact with the home.

Officers returned Friday morning at about 10 a.m. and found the brothers unarmed. They were arrested and taken to jail in Devils Lake.

At Rodney's initial court appearance on July 29, KZZY Radio reports that he represented himself and answered nearly every question from the judge by saying, "this is my property, I do not agree to this sale."

Rodney is charged with one count of terrorizing, a Class C felony, one count of theft of property, one count of criminal mischief, one count of failure to comply with estray order (for the cattle) and one count of preventing arrest.

None of the Brossarts have retained an attorney.