ST. PAUL – The Minnesota Department of Public Safety Bureau of Criminal Apprehension (BCA) has identified the law enforcement officers who used force Jan. 30 while trying to arrest a man in Fargo. Tyler Merritt, 20, of Fargo, N.D., does not appear to have been injured during the arrest.
According to the preliminary investigation, on Jan. 30, officers with the Fargo Police Department were trying to arrest Merritt, who was wanted on numerous warrants. After Merritt fled from the officers in a vehicle with a stolen plate, they requested assistance from the Cass County Drug Task Force, which includes agents from the North Dakota BCI, and the Metro Area Street Crimes Unit. They found Merritt later the same day in Fargo and tried to pull over the vehicle he was driving. Merritt tried to flee again by ramming the squad cars. At one point, Voeltz fired one shot which appears to have gone through the fabric of Merritt's jacket but did not cause an injury. The undercover deputy also deployed his Taser trying to get Merritt into custody. Once detained, Merritt was evaluated by paramedics but refused medical treatment and was taken into custody.
BCA crime scene personnel recovered a cartridge casing, a Taser cartridge and a Taser probe at the scene. The BCA also took Merritt's clothing into evidence, including the jacket with what appears to be a bullet hole. North Dakota BCI agents do not wear body cameras but some of the other responding officers were wearing cameras that captured portions of the incident. BCA agents are reviewing all available video as part of their active investigation.
The North Dakota BCI asked the BCA to investigate this incident. Once the investigation is complete, the BCA will present its findings without a charging recommendation to the Cass County State Attorney's Office in North Dakota for review.