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Man suspected of trying to run over Bismarck police officer found in South Dakota

Ulises Villalobos

BISMARCK - A 22-year-old man accused of trying to run over a Bismarck police officer earlier in the day was arrested late Thursday night, Jan. 18, almost 380 miles away in Brookings in southeastern South Dakota..

An alert Thursday afternoon said suspect Ulises Villalobos was believed to have headed east out of Bismarck in a white 2002 Subaru Legacy Outback with North Dakota license plate 476BJY.

At 5:30 p.m., the suspect's vehicle was thought to have been seen by a law enforcement officer going northbound on Interstate 29, taking the Argusville exit about 16 miles north of Fargo.  The suspect might have been looking to steal a vehicle, Bismarck police said. He was also thought to be in the company of a large, tall Hispanic man, although that wasn’t confirmed Thursday night.

In a Facebook post just before 10 p.m., Bismarck police said Villalobos was arrested without incident.  The police said more information would be released on Friday morning.

From evidence found in Villalobos’ vehicle from the morning incident, it is likely the suspect was struck by a bullet and probably needed medical assistance, police said.

The earlier alert said people should not attempt to approach or apprehend the suspect, but should call 911 immediately.

After Villalobos attempted to harm the officer, the policeman fired several shots at his vehicle, hitting the driver’s side window and rear of the vehicle.

Villalobos was then driving a black 2013 Chevrolet Equinox with gunshot damage from the officer evident.

Bismarck Police Sgt. Mark Buschena said that vehicle had been recovered.

Police had been assisting state parole and probation with a search warrant at a residence at 3221 Montreal St. shortly before the attempted assault around 11 a.m. Thursday.

“At that time, an individual came out of one of the residences,” officer Pat Renz told media around noon Thursday. “He was commanded to stop, he did not stop, he got into a vehicle, began to flee. The officer told him again to stop and, at that point, the officer had to fire at that vehicle because it was driving toward the officer.”

Villalobos reportedly left in that black 2013 Chevrolet Equinox that police found abandoned about two hours later.

Renz said the shooting investigation will be turned over to the North Dakota Bureau of Criminal Investigation. The officer who fired the shots is on administrative leave as per police policy.

Despite the chaos, schools in Bismarck dismissed as normal Thursday, according to Renae Hoffmann Walker, director of community relations for Bismarck Public Schools. Busing and after-school programs took place as usual, although "shelter in place" was put on at eight of the schools during the morning of the incident.

Walker said Century High School was in shelter in place starting at about 11 a.m. Horizon Middle School and Liberty, Northridge and Centennial elementary schools were given a similar designation shortly after. The shelter in place was lifted for the schools at about 12:40 p.m.

At 2:15 p.m., three other schools —  Simle Middle School and Miller and Murphy elementary schools — were in shelter in place.