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Fargo man accused of trying to bribe officer with $50

Joshua Charles Reinke

FARGO - A 27-year-old man released from jail five weeks ago is accused of trying to bribe a Fargo police officer with $50 during a child neglect investigation.

Joshua Charles Reinke of West Fargo faces felony charges of child neglect and bribery in connection with last Friday's incident in south Fargo.

Reinke completed a 120-day sentence for felony theft of property and forgery on March 6, according to Cass County Jail records. He is serving two years of supervised probation.

Cass County District Court documents state:

The incident occurred about 7 p.m. after an officer spotted three boys between the ages of 4 and 8 inside an unattended vehicle parked outside an apartment complex in the 1400 block of 32nd Street South.

The rear passenger door of the running vehicle was open. As the officer approached the vehicle, Reinke exited the complex and said he was responsible for the children.

When the officer asked Reinke for his identification, Reinke opened his wallet and handed the officer a $50 bill.

The officer told Reinke he wanted his identification, not cash. Reinke then provided his identification.

Reinke told the officer the children were in the car for five minutes tops, saying he started the car and told them to stay in it because he needed to go back to the apartment.

He told the officer he was unsure why he handed him the $50 bill, saying he had only slept for three hours in the past couple days.

If convicted of the new charges, Reinke faces up to five years in prison for each of the charges. He was released from the Cass County Jail on Tuesday after posting $500 bail.

Bribery cases are not common in Fargo, Sgt. Ross Renner said.

"We don't see a lot of that," he said.