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Hammer-wielding homeowner coaxes intruder out of his Fargo home

FARGO -- A north Fargo couple arrived home early Sunday to find a stranger sleeping in their basement, and the hammer-wielding male homeowner was able to convince him to leave the house, police said.

FARGO -- A north Fargo couple arrived home early Sunday to find a stranger sleeping in their basement, and the hammer-wielding male homeowner was able to convince him to leave the house, police said.

Erik A. Wall was arrested in connection with the case but is not being charged. The victim called prosecutors and asked that he not be charged because Wall's friends had repaired the damage he caused, Assistant Cass County State's Attorney Cherie Clark said.

The break-in was reported at 1:32 a.m. in the 1200 block of Ninth Street North.

The couple used the back door when they got home, Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

When they went to check on their dogs, they noticed the front door was open and damaged, and that someone had forced his way into the house, he said.

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The male homeowner grabbed a hammer for protection while searching the house. On his downstairs couch he found a man whom he described to police as being under the influence of alcohol and "passed out," Lykken said.

The homeowner was able to coax the stranger out of the house and had him sit in the front yard until police arrived, Lykken said.

Wall, 29, of Fargo, was arrested on suspicion of felony criminal trespass and taken to the Cass County Jail. He was released at 10:08 a.m. Monday, according to the jail.

Lykken said Wall admitted to being intoxicated.

No one was injured, and police are glad the situation didn't turn more serious, Lykken said.

"But we would encourage residents to contact police and have us look through their house any time they believe their house has been broken into," he said.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are owned by Forum Communications Co.

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