Three incidents emphasize Southwestern law enforcement agencies' tactics, expertise

Southwestern law enforcement agencies have been responding to several critical incidents within the past several days, ranging from domestic assault, discharge of a firearm and locating a wanted subject.

A Dickinson Police Department patrol vehicle shows damage from an incident that occurred Tuesday evening in which a wanted subject rammed into the patrol unit. (Photo courtesy of Dickinson Police Department)

Southwest law enforcement agencies have responded to several critical incidents throughout Stark County over the past few days, highlighting each agency’s skills and tactics.

On Tuesday evening near Champ’s Sports Bar, North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation agents were currently assisting Cass County and federal officials in locating a wanted individual, who was believed to be in Dickinson, according to a Dickinson Police Department press release. Joshua McCleary, 28, of Wheatland, was tracked by agents within the 1100 block of West Villard Avenue.

“As Dickinson patrol officers began coordinating a response to assist, McCleary emerged from the premises and entered a vehicle. Officers attempted to stop McCleary, but he proceeded to ram a Dickinson Police unit. A short foot pursuit followed, with McCleary being taken into custody without further incident,” the DPD press release stated.

McCleary was transported to the Southwest Multi-County Correction Center and was served warrants. He faces additional charges pending from the Stark County State’s Attorney. No officers were injured in this incident, the DPD press release noted.

A second critical incident developed in the city of Belfield Monday evening. The Belfield Police Department requested assistance from Dickinson’s Southwest Tactical Team in arresting a male who allegedly discharged a firearm and also brandished the firearm at others while threatening them, the DPD press release announced.


“Law enforcement was contacted regarding a male that was (near) the Belfield Dam, allegedly discharging rounds from a firearm. Upon the male being confronted, the male allegedly threatened various victims with a gun and bodily harm,” Police Chief Steve Byrne said in a Press interview. “I did initiate a shelter in place for all residents in the city of Belfield. The male was later located at a residence (in Belfield), and we utilized the Southwest Tactical Team from Dickinson. Hostage negotiators assisted in apprehending the subject.”

The team arrived in Belfield shortly before midnight. During the incident, negotiators were able to make contact with 30-year-old Thomas Lefevre, who subsequently surrendered without incident just before 1 a.m. Tuesday after 30 minutes of deliberations.

“Our main concern is for our community safety. I’m proud that in working with the community and our neighboring law enforcement agencies we were able to act quickly to take the subject into custody and that no one was hurt,” Byrne said.

Lefevre was transported to the SWMCCC and awaits formal charges from the Stark County State’s Attorney, which include two C felonies of reckless endangerment and terrorizing, Byrne stated.

“The Belfield Police Department would like to recognize the following agencies for their response and assistance: Stark County Sheriff’s Office, Billings County Sheriff’s Office, Dunn County Sheriff’s Office, Dickinson Police Department, the North Dakota Highway Patrol and the Stark County State’s Attorney Office,” Byrne added.

The third incident occurred Jan. 9 when patrol officers responded to a report of a domestic assault in east Dickinson.

“Upon arriving, officers developed probable cause to arrest 37-year-old Sheldon Gordon of Dickinson for aggravated assault. While being transported to jail, Gordon maneuvered his handcuffs in front of his body and began damaging the back seat and video equipment of the patrol vehicle,” the DPD press release stated.

While arriving at the SWMCCC, Gordon then allegedly bit a Dickinson police officer and also allegedly assaulted a correctional staff member. The Stark County State’s Attorney has formally filed charges of domestic violence aggravated assault, two counts of assault on a police officer, criminal mischief and terrorizing. Gordon remains incarcerated at the SWMCCC until his court hearing. None of the injuries were serious for the officers, according to the DPD press release.

Jackie Jahfetson is a former reporter for The Dickinson Press.
What To Read Next
Get Local