Dilworth man brought airsoft gun, homemade flail into Clay County Courthouse, court docs allege

Deputies determined through a test that Dale Whitefeather had a blood alcohol content of 0.196%, the complaint said.

Dale Whitefeather
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MOORHEAD — A Dilworth, Minnesota, man is in jail after Clay County deputies said he brought weapons into the courthouse.

Dale Allen Whitefeather, 34, was scheduled to appear Friday morning, Oct. 22, in Clay County District Court on two felony charges of possessing a dangerous weapon in a courthouse. The charges stem from Oct. 21, when Whitefeather came to the courthouse for a hearing to face a gross misdemeanor charge of driving while his license was canceled.

While going through security, Whitefeather said he had a folding knife, which deputies found, according to a criminal complaint.

Deputies scanned his backpack with an X-ray machine and found what appeared to be a rifle, later determined to be an airsoft gun, the complaint said.

Whitefeather said he brought it for his son and wanted to leave it in the lobby, according to the complaint. Deputies also discovered a homemade flail weapon, which had a metal padlock secured to a carabiner on a rope, the complaint said. The weapon could be used to assault someone, a deputy said in the complaint.


Whitefeather has a history of assault, making terroristic threats and driving while impaired.

After the hearing, Whitefeather was arrested. Deputies determined through a test that he had a blood alcohol content of 0.196%, the complaint said.

The incident shows the importance of having a metal detector and X-ray machine in the courthouse for the safety of staff inside the building, Sheriff Mark Empting said. He said he couldn’t recall if anything like this had happened before.

April Baumgarten joined The Forum in February 2019 as an investigative reporter. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, N.D., where her family raises Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at the University of Jamestown, N.D.
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