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Dave Roepke, Published September 23 2011

Man faces dangerous weapons charge for carrying nunchucks into Moorhead park

MOORHEAD – Police say a 38-year-old man faces a charge of possessing a prohibited weapon after he allegedly carried a set of nunchucks into a city park here.

In a citation filed in Clay County District Court this week, police allege Richard Conley Rice had a pair of white nunchucks tucked in the small of his back when he entered Davy Memorial Park Aug. 20, upset because, he claimed, a group gathered at the park gazebo had stolen his bicycle.

Rice told police he hadn’t assaulted anyone and was planning to defend himself, officers said in a report filed with the citation. He also allegedly told police, “I’m just being stupid.”

The incident came about an hour after Rice called police from Usher’s House, a bar and restaurant at 701 1st Ave. N., at 5:13 p.m. to seek help retrieving his bicycle. He claimed it was stolen by a group of five people in the park who threatened him.

After a woman who was part of that group told an officer Rice had sold a bike to her for $4 in beer money, Rice allegedly admitted to police that he had, in fact, sold the bicycle for $4 and spent most of the proceeds to buy a beer at Usher’s.

Rice told police he’d just been borrowing the bicycle, however, and asked them to help him get it back. The police told him he would need to take the matter up in civil court, as there was no way to prove ownership and he had no bill of sale, the report stated.

Police say in the report that Rice was told to leave the park after he became agitated about the situation.

Officers seized the nunchucks and issued a ticket to Rice alleging a violation of a city law outlawing the public possession of nunchucks as well as switchblades and throwing stars, a misdemeanor offense.

He is due in court on Thursday.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Roepke at (701) 241-5535