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Emily Welker, Published October 30 2013

Davenport man accused of beating truck thief with metal pipe

FARGO – A Davenport man may find out firsthand why police warn against individuals confronting criminals.

That’s after county prosecutors filed charges against him and another man on the same day: one for stealing another man’s truck, the other for beating the thief with a metal pipe when he caught him driving the vehicle.

Michael Ray Schmit, 57, of Davenport, was charged Sept. 25 in Cass County District Court with one count of aggravated assault, a Class C felony.

Dillon James Asleson, 23, of Mapleton, was charged the same day in Cass County District Court with Class C felony theft, and has pleaded guilty.

According to court documents, an assault was reported to Fargo police just after 1 p.m. on Sept. 24 in a parking lot at 807 17th Ave. N.

When they arrived, Officer Adam Melquist found two pickup trucks parked bumper to bumper in the parking lot. Asleson was covered in blood, sitting on the ground against a building, according to a police report. Schmit and his son, Joseph Schmit, were nearby.

The Schmits told Melquist they had been driving around looking for Joseph Schmit’s stolen blue 2004 Chevy Silverado pickup when they spotted the truck on University Drive, with Asleson driving it.

Michael Schmit, who was driving, said he pulled behind the pickup, trapping it on the south side of the building and blocking it in.

Joseph Schmit told the officer that Asleson backed the truck into them.

The Schmits told Melquist that’s when Michael Schmit got out, approached Asleson, who was trying to run, and began punching and hitting Asleson with a metal pole that was in the Schmit vehicle.

Joseph Schmit also told officers that Asleson had a backpack and offered its contents to Schmit, saying the backpack was his but what was inside it was not and Schmit could have it.

Police reports say they recovered a PS3 game system and a game, along with some clothing and a pair of Ugg boots from a backpack in the Silverado, along with a men’s mountain bike, which Schmit said was not his.

Asleson was sentenced Thursday to 29 days in jail and two years of supervised probation.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Emily Welker at (701) 241-5541