Dustin Alexander Depiano, 31, was charged Thursday, Nov. 7, with five counts, including theft, burglary, fleeing a peace officer and reckless endangerment, in relation to vehicle pursuits last winter that sent a Clay County sheriff's deputy to the hospital.
The investigation into Depiano began around 12:40 a.m. Feb. 25 after the Cass County Sheriff’s Office responded to a report of a residential burglary in rural West Fargo, according to court documents. A vehicle stolen from the home was spotted around 2:15 a.m. in Clay County, court documents said. At one point, it exceeded 100 mph.
Officers lost the vehicle once and canceled a second pursuit in Moorhead for safety reasons. When a deputy spotted the car for a third time, it backed into the squad car’s passenger side at a high rate of speed, court documents said.
A second squad car was rammed head on, causing the airbags to deploy, according to court documents. Depiano was arrested after the vehicle got stuck in a snowbank.
Depiano, also known as Dustin Douglas Swiers, initially faced seven felony charges in Clay County but pleaded guilty to second-degree assault with a deadly weapon and fleeing a peace officer. The remaining charges were dismissed.
Clay County District Judge Michelle Lawson sentenced him to 52 months in prison. A hearing has not been set for the Cass County charges.