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Published September 05, 2012, 03:31 PM

Transportation Center Reopens After Man Causes Thousands of Dollars in Damage

FARGO – Police say a 29-year-old Fargo man vandalized the dispatch area of the Ground Transportation Center in downtown Fargo on Tuesday, causing thousands of dollars in damage and forcing the bus depot to close temporarily.

By: Mike Nowatzki, Inforum

FARGO – Police say a 29-year-old Fargo man vandalized the dispatch area of the Ground Transportation Center in downtown Fargo on Tuesday, causing thousands of dollars in damage and forcing the bus depot to close temporarily.

Sgt. Mike Erbes said the man broke one of the dispatch area’s windows and began smashing computers, then crawled through the broken window and started breaking more computers inside the office.

Workers ran out of the office, called police and held the office door shut with the man inside until officers arrived, he said.

Police were called at about 7:23 p.m., and the man was still agitated when they arrived, Erbes said. Officers were able to subdue him and handcuff him.

The bleeding man was transported by ambulance to a hospital to be treated for cuts before being taken to the Cass County Jail. He allegedly spit on a paramedic in the ambulance, Erbes said.

Thon Akuany Chol, who lives in the nearby Lashkowitz High Rise at 101 2nd St. S., was arrested on suspicion of felony criminal mischief, contact by bodily fluids and disorderly conduct. He also had an active city arrest warrant for resisting arrest and consuming in public, Erbes said.

The incident will not affect MATBUS routes, which began running as scheduled at 6:15 a.m. today. However, the Ground Transportation Center at 502 NP Ave. won’t reopen until 9 a.m., three hours later than normal, according to a news release.

“MATBUS asks for your patience as its staff and administrators work diligently to repair and replace equipment in our GTC dispatch area over the next several days. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause,” the release stated.

Fargo Transit Administrator Julie Bommelman said three computers were damaged, along with the window and a clock that was ripped off the wall. A damage estimate wasn’t available yet, but in order for someone to be arrested on suspicion of felony criminal mischief, the damage must be estimated at $2,000 or more, Erbes said.

Bommelman said dispatchers told her the man came into the GTC and immediately jumped at the window and broke it. He had no interaction with dispatchers before the incident, she said.

“Clearly something set him off somewhere, but not any instance at our location,” she said.

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