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Man arrested during fatal hit and run investigation for fighting with police

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BEMIDJI -- While investigating the death of Christopher Lee Strong, killed in an apparent hit and run Wednesday morning, police arrested a man who became combative with officers.

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Richard Edward Strong, 39, was arraigned Thursday on one count of obstructing the legal process and is being held at the Beltrami County Jail on $4,000 bail. It is unclear what, if any, the relationship between the two men is, Beltrami County Sheriff Phil Hodapp said Thursday night.

Police were inspecting a vehicle at an apartment building at 272 Spirit Ave. NW just before 5 p.m. Wednesday, according to a criminal complaint filed by the Beltrami County Attorney’s Office. The vehicle, which was eventually towed, is not the one believed to be involved Christopher Strong’s death, Hodapp said.

Richard Strong was “intoxicated and belligerent,” according to the complaint, and became more unruly when police decided to tow the vehicle. At one point, Richard Strong pushed an agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, and “pulled his left fist back in an action preparing to punch,” the complaint stated.

Richard Strong has a criminal history that includes gross misdemeanor convictions for assault, domestic assault and disorderly conduct, as well as a 2010 conviction for gross misdemeanor escaping from custody.

Cassandra Martin, who has lived near the apartment building where Richard Strong was arrested since 1990, said police were there for “about two hours” Wednesday afternoon.

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Justin Glawe
Reporting on crime, courts and Beltrami county government. Follow me on Twitter @JustinGlawe.
(218) 333-9200 x343
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