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Published April 23, 2012, 04:36 PM

Man Charged After High-speed Chase, Crash Near Langdon, ND

LANGDON, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A Fargo man has been charged after allegedly leading authorities on a 24-mile high-speed chase near Langdon, crashing into a Sheriff's Department squad car and then driving into the waters of the Mount Carmel dam.

By: Rick Abbott, WDAZ

LANGDON, ND (WDAZ-TV) - A Fargo man has been charged after allegedly leading authorities on a 24-mile high-speed chase near Langdon, crashing into a Sheriff's Department squad car and then driving into the waters of the Mount Carmel Dam.

James Strickland was charged with reckless endangerment, fleeing and criminal mischief.

Cavalier County Sheriff's Deputy Paul Podhradsky tried to stop Strickland just after 8 p.m. Friday as he was driving a pickup on Highway 66 near Langdon after two different reports of an unwanted man in the callers' yards.

Podhradsky activated the vehicle's lights and siren, but Strickland picked up speed, according to a police report. Speeds reached over 75 mph as Strickland and the deputy drove toward Highway 1.

As Strickland passed County Road 24, speeds reached nearly 90 mph, according to the report.

A short time later, Strickland struck a squad car that had its lights and siren on, demolishing the entire back-end and totaling the vehicle.

Podhradsky radioed to dispatch an ambulance and the fire department to the scene of the smashed squad car. The deputy in the vehicle was uninjured but had to be pulled out of the passenger side door by Podhradsky, who said he could smell a strong odor of gasoline. The deputy said he was alright, so Podhradsky started pursuing Strickland once again.

Authorities followed Strickland toward an old boat ramp near the Mount Carmel Dam 12 miles north of Langdon when he drove down into the water. According to the report, Strickland got out of the smoking pickup and stood on the box cover.

Deputies told Strickland repeatedly to swim over to them, which he eventually did, and was arrested. Strickland told deputies he didn't know or remember anything and that "the voices were talking to him," according to the police report. Podhradsky noted that Strickland had slurred speech, blood-shot eyes and was confused, stating he didn't know what happened or even his own name.

After Strickland was cleared by the doctor, he was taken to the Cavalier County Jail in Langdon, where he remains in custody. He wasn't injured in the chase.

Reckless endangerment and fleeing police are both Class C felonies punishable by up to five years in prison, a $5,000 fine or both. Criminal mischief is a Class B felony.

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