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Forum staff reports, Published May 17 2012

Unbelted passenger tries to flee state trooper in Moorhead

MOORHEAD – After he had just received an award for seat-belt enforcement, a state trooper on Wednesday stopped a vehicle with an unbelted passenger who ended up fleeing and being arrested for a patrol violation stemming from more serious charges.

The traffic stop was made at 2:43 p.m. Wednesday by Sgt. Mark Herbranson, who about an hour earlier had received a recognition award from the Safe Communities Coalition of the Red River Valley as the top seat-belt enforcer for the patrol’s Detroit Lakes District, according to patrol spokesman Sgt. Jesse Grabow.

Herbranson stopped the vehicle near the 1700 block of 30th Avenue South in Moorhead and was speaking with the unbelted passenger outside the vehicle when the man fled on foot, Grabow said.

He said Herbranson stayed with the vehicle and secured the female driver, and the fleeing passenger was soon apprehended by patrol Sgt. Gerald Hanson.

Brian Lamar Jones, 25, of Bayport, was arrested for an active warrant for a parole violation resulting from domestic assault and burglary convictions, Grabow said.

Jones also faces charges of fleeing, giving a false name and date of birth and not wearing his seat belt, he said. The vehicle’s driver wasn’t charged.

Grabow said the incident is a reminder that authorities around Minnesota will be working together along with more than 10,000 officers nationwide during the annual “Click It or Ticket” seat belt and child seat enforcement blitz from May 21 to June 3.