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West Fargo landlord faces charges in Hummer incident

A West Fargo landlord accused of intentionally running over a tenant with a Hummer last month is now facing two felony charges.

Alois Vetter, 73, has been charged in Cass County District Court with aggravated assault and reckless endangerment. He's set to make a first appearance on the charges on April 12.

In court records, police allege that Brain Hemphill, a tenant in the process of moving out, was walking toward Vetter's vehicle in the 600 block of Second Avenue West in West Fargo at about 7 p.m. Feb. 18 when Vetter drove the Hummer toward Hemphill.

Hemphill stepped back, and Vetter drove forward again, striking the tenant and forcing him up on to the Hummer's hood, court records allege.

Vetter then drove a short distance, turning the wheel as if he was trying to shake Hemphill off, a witness told police. When Vetter hit the brakes, Hemphill fell to the ground, and the landlord drove over him, police say.

After being hospitalized for 10 days, Hemphill was released. Asked about his condition Tuesday, Hemphill said, "I'm alive."

Hemphill declined to talk in detail about the incident but said he was pleased to hear the charges were filed. They were filed March 15.

"I'm very happy. I was getting concerned," he said.

In an interview two days after the incident, Vetter told The Forum he had felt threatened when a man he said he couldn't identify approached his vehicle. He also said he did not mean to hit anyone and plans to fight the charges in court.

Vetter said Hemphill was being evicted for not paying rent. The girlfriend of Hemphill said they weren't paying rent due to unresolved issues with mold in the apartment building.