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Brittany Lawonn, Published July 31 2009

Judge sets bail at $100,000 cash only for Fargo standoff suspect

FARGO – A judge here set bail at $100,000 cash for a man facing five felony charges stemming from a nearly nine-hour standoff with police earlier this month.

Leonard Ritter, 55, is charged in Cass County District Court with being a felon in possession of a firearm, preventing arrest or discharge of duties, reckless endangerment and two counts of terrorizing.

He was arrested July 8 after jumping from his apartment balcony at 2433 20th Ave. S. and attempting to flee. Officers used a Taser on Ritter, who continued to struggle until he was handcuffed, police said at the time.

An hour before his arrest, Ritter had fired a handgun several times at a SWAT robot after it breached his apartment door.

Police were called to the apartment complex after receiving a report about a man in the hallway with a shotgun threatening someone. They had been at the same building earlier in the week in response to an argument between Ritter and another individual.

Ritter had been given an eviction notice at some point prior to the standoff, police said.

This morning, East Central Judicial District Judge John Irby appointed an attorney for Ritter, who said he thought he had hired an attorney and had expected the attorney to be at the court appearance.

Prosecutor Ryan Younggren recommended the $100,000 cash only bail for Ritter, citing his 1994 conviction following a standoff with police that helped lead to the creation of a local SWAT team.

Ritter did not comment on the recommended bail amount, which Irby accepted.

Ritter attended the court hearing dressed in an orange Cass County Jail sweatshirt, blue jeans and white tennis shoes.

His next court date is set for Aug. 27.

For more on this story, see Saturday’s Forum