Charges were dropped Wednesday in a case against a 50-year-old man accused of threatening another man with a gun outside a Grand Forks hotel in a May incident that drew a SWAT response.
Daniel Wayne Tupa, Williston, had been charged with terrorizing, a Class C felony, in Grand Forks District Court, but prosecutors dropped the charge, saying they could not prove he committed the crime.
Grand Forks County Assistant State's Attorney Haley Wamstad said the charge was dropped because witnesses could not provide enough information to support the charge and the alleged victim, who lives in Iowa, did not want to continue to press charges.
Tupa was arrested in May after he allegedly threatened an unarmed man with a handgun during an altercation outside America's Best Value Inn, 1000 N. 42nd St.
Ted Sandberg, Tupa's defense attorney, said Tupa was physically assaulted by the alleged victim before making the alleged threat. Police reports contend the altercation was merely verbal, according to Wamstad.
After the altercation, Tupa went back to his hotel room.
Grand Forks Police were called to the hotel after the threat was reported. Shortly after, the Grand Forks Regional SWAT and Crisis Negotiations teams arrived on scene and evacuated the hotel wing where Tupa's room was located in what would become a four-hour standoff.
Police tried to make contact with Tupa. It is unclear whether they spoke with him prior to deploying a flash bang, a non-lethal explosive that emits a flashing light and a loud banging sound.
Sandberg said his client was oblivious to the police's attempts to make contact with him and did not answer the calls to his hotel phone because he was asleep at the time.
"He wasn't sleeping through the flashbag grenade" though, said Sandberg, saying Tupa complied with officers after the explosive was deployed.
If the case would have gone to trial, Sandberg said, he and his client would have argued Tupa made the alleged threats in self defense.
According to Tupa's version of events, there was a verbal argument between him and the alleged victim because the victim became upset Tupa had gotten too close to his motorcycle, Sandberg said. Then, Sandberg said, the alleged victim pushed Tupa to the ground.
Charges could be renewed against Tupa, but both Sandberg and Wamstad said that is unlikely.