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Struggle over baby gets man 30 days in jail

FARGO - A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 30 days in jail Monday after pleading guilty to an amended charge stemming from a June 2008 attempted baby snatching in south Fargo.

Tyler Ray Nord originally faced a felony attempted felonious restraint charge, but it was amended to misdemeanor unlawful restraint in exchange for the guilty plea.

Nord, of Duluth, Minn., tried to walk off with Amanda Steckler's then 7-week-old infant June 22 after she put the carrier on the ground in her driveway in the 5200 block of Amber Valley Parkway to reach for her 2-year-old daughter, who was still in the car.

The two struggled over the carrier during the incident, Cass County District Court documents state.

"He was basically pulling me along with him because I wouldn't let go of it, and then I hollered for help," Steckler told The Forum in June. "All I could think of was not to let go."

Nord's friend then ran over to the garage after hearing the commotion.

"What in the hell are you doing?" Steven Kressin asked. Nord then let go of the carrier.

Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Tristan Van de Streek recommended Nord serve 60 days in jail, citing Steckler's "very frightening" experience.

Nord's attorney, Pat O'Day, argued for no additional jail time other than the one day Nord spent in custody, saying his client has no criminal record and is a typical young man.

O'Day presented three character letters to the judge, saying his client likely believed he was just being a gentleman and helping the woman.

O'Day added there was a lot of alcohol consumed that night, saying it was "just a really, ridiculously stupid night for this man."

Van de Streek argued that one day was not enough, reminding the judge that even if there were a gentlemanly intent, there was a physical struggle over the baby.

Nord apologized before being sentenced, saying, "I am very honestly sorry, your honor."

East Central Judicial District Judge Wickham Corwin said he felt some jail time was necessary, sentencing Nord to one year, all but 30 days suspended for a period of 18 months of supervised probation.

Nord also was ordered to pay $525 in fines and fees and complete a psychological evaluation.