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Brent Castleman, Minot, acquitted of assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, trespass

Brent Allen Castleman, 53, Minot, was acquitted by a jury on Thursday of Class C felony simple assault on a police officer, Class C felony preventing arrest, and Class A misdemeanor criminal trespass.

Castleman had been accused of trespassing at the Ground Round at 4 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2020, triggering a silent alarm, and then of walking away from officers and ignoring their commands to stop, and physically resisting when they tried to handcuff him. He was ultimately tased, handcuffed and hobbled. He had also allegedly kicked Officer Jay Bloyer at some point during the scuffle.

The defense had questioned the officers’ actions and whether it was necessary to use that level of force for them to gain control of Castleman, who claimed he had used the restroom in the building and then gone out the main doors without realizing that he had triggered a silent alarm. He was crossing the parking lot when police officers pulled up in response to the alarm.

The situation escalated from there, with officers claiming that Castleman had been belligerent and had ignored their commands. Castleman ended up on his stomach with his face in the pavement, handcuffed and hobbled. At one point, the defense asserted that Castleman claimed he could not breathe. Bloyer testified that he did not believe Castleman could not breathe and thought it was possible that Castleman would still be able to get to his feet from that position because Bloyer said he himself would have been able to do so.

The defense also alleged that Bloyer had called Castleman a “dumb f—“ after the struggle, which Bloyer acknowledged was “a slip in professionalism” on his part.

The defense also brought up an unrelated case in which Bloyer was alleged to have used excessive force. Bloyer and Minot police officer Kevin Cory were sued last year by a man who claimed they had used excessive force when they arrested him following a traffic stop on June 20, 2019. The man sustained multiple facial fractures and required hospitalization following his encounter with the officers. The case was settled out of court for $90,000, which was paid out to the plaintiff by the North Dakota Insurance Reserve Fund. Neither of the officers nor the City of Minot nor the Minot Police Department admitted to any wrong doing.

Castleman is currently serving a five year sentence for child abuse at the North Dakota State Penitentiary in an unrelated case. He is scheduled to be released in 2024.

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