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Joseph Weninger

Sabin, Minn., home invasion results in charges against two Harvey, N.D., men

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FARGO

Two suspects charged in a home invasion near Sabin, Minn., were identified after a resident tied to a chair faked being unconscious, prompting both suspects to remove their ski masks, officials said.

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Jason Lee Roerick, 21, and Joseph Michael Weninger, 25, both of Harvey, N.D., were arrested on Thursday in connection with the Wednesday afternoon robbery.

Both were charged Friday in Clay County District Court with six felonies: two charges each of kidnapping and first-degree aggravated robbery, plus false imprisonment and first-degree burglary.

According to the court documents:

At about 2 p.m., a resident of the farmhouse at 3770 80th Street S. was outside watering his horses when he saw two men running from his house. When he asked them if he could help them, one of the men said, "You know why we're here, we're here to rob you."

The resident isn't named in court documents, but the husband of the owner of the house is Wayne Bradley Schindler and the victim is referred to in court records as W.B.S.

One of the suspects then put Schindler in a headlock and pushed him face down on the ground, leaving a cut on his nose.

Schindler went limp and pretended to be out cold. He was placed in a chair outside, his hands bound by duct tape and an extension cord strapping him to a metal chair outside.

Both suspects then took off the ski masks they were wearing. Schindler told police he already had identified Weninger because the hole on his mask was cut too large. He also recognized Roerick when he removed his mask, as both are from Harvey.

The two men, who wore knives on their belts, then entered the house, and Schindler told police he saw Roerick take a pistol from his bedroom. The suspects left when a neighbor drove by, and Schindler freed himself.

Clay County Sheriff Bill Bergquist said one of the suspects charged may have recently worked at the home, and court records state that both of them work at the same flour mill as Schindler's brother.

Roerick and Weninger are being held at the Heart of America Correctional and Treatment Center in Rugby, N.D., and officials are seeking extradition to Clay County.

Bergquist's office is suggesting bail of $100,000 for both men.

Weninger has pleaded guilty to theft or burglary charges at least three times in North Dakota, according to state court records. Roerick has pleaded guilty five times in North Dakota to writing a bad check, the online records show.

A phone message left at the Sabin farmhouse was not returned Friday, but in an interview with WDAY-TV on Thursday, Schindler said he feared for his life.

"They could have broke my neck," Schindler told the TV station.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead, WDAY-TV in Fargo and the Herald are owned by Forum Communications Co.

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