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Busy but tame July 4 weekend

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501

Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

Local law enforcement is spending this week wrapping up the issues that popped up over the long Fourth of July holiday weekend.

Although officers from the Detroit Lakes Police Department, Becker County Sheriff’s Department and the State Patrol were all kept busy throughout the holiday weekend, they say it was relatively tame.

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“We were a little short-staffed, but for the most part there was nothing serious and none of our guys got injured on anything,” said Detroit Lakes Police Chief Tim Eggebraaten, who says the city’s biggest obstacle was a group of out-of-town men who were fighting before, during and after the fireworks show on the corner of Washington Avenue and West Lake Drive.

“They gave us a lot of headaches – they kept us pretty busy for a while, but besides that pocket of people, it was pretty good,” said Eggebraaten. “Traffic flow was OK, there weren’t a lot of heat-related incidents that I heard of, and all in all it was another good Fourth.”

Eggebraaten says they got some fireworks complaints, which he says is typical, but believes the number of people down by the beach and park area this year was down from previous years.

“And there were a lot of families and young kids out there,” he said.

Despite the absence of any real serious crime-related incidents, local law enforcement was kept busy with a steady flow of calls.

45 people were booked into the Becker County Jail over the three-day weekend.

Between the three agencies working within Becker County, there were 19 DWI’s, 4 minor consuming, 2 disturbing the peace, 2 controlled substance, 1 assault, 2 disorderly conducts, 1 fleeing a peace officer, 1 fifth degree domestic assault, 4 local warrants and 7 out-county warrants, 1 public nuisance and 1 false name.

Aside from actual arrests, officers were also kept busy with a number of minor calls, including some thefts, fights, property damage and a few minor motor vehicle accidents.

 “And the river went very well this year with the two businesses out there,” said Becker County Sheriff Kelly Shannon, referring to the Ottertail Tubing places east on Highway 34. “With their (the business owners) cooperation it went very well,” Shannon added. “And we had a strong presence out there again this year so it worked well.”

Accidental shooting

Meanwhile, Shannon said Tuesday that the accidental shooting that took the life of a 70-year-old man Thursday evening is still under investigation.

No new information is being released on the incident near Floyd Lake that killed Arthur Albert Martel of Bismarck.

According to the sheriff’s department, investigators were told that Martel had been looking at a .38-special handgun, and when he was handing the gun to its owner, the gun fired and a bullet struck Martel in the chest.

Officers performed CPR on Arthur Albert Martel until medics arrived and took him to Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital in Detroit Lakes. Martel was pronounced dead at the hospital, the department said.

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