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Belcourt man involved in two domestic violence investigations accused of fleeing police, driving drunk

A Belcourt, N.D., man who was sought last month in a domestic violence investigation by Grand Forks Police allegedly fled officers and drove drunk after officers tried to speak to him about a separate domestic violence call.

Officers were searching Wednesday night for Dana Andrew Poitra, 51, also known as Dana Decoteau, to question him for a second domestic violence call. Police located his pickup in the 3600 block of 13th Avenue North, but he refused to stop, according to a news release.

Officers used a pursuit intervention technique maneuver and forced the vehicle to stop in the 3600 block of Gateway Drive. Poitra was taken into custody.

Police previously asked the public to help locate Poitra last month regarding a separate domestic violence investigation in which a man allegedly assaulted a female subject before fleeing in a pickup. Officers located and spoke to Poitra last month but made no arrests in that case.

The most recent domestic violence call is under investigation, but Poitra did not face domestic violence charges as of Thursday afternoon, Lt. Bill Macki said. He confirmed Poitra was involved in both investigations.

Poitra pleaded guilty to a Class B misdemeanor of driving under the influence for the latest arrest. Jail time was suspended in that case. The driving under suspension charge was dismissed.

The Grand Forks Police Department said Poitra preliminarily has been charged with fleeing police in a motor vehicle, but formal charges have not been filed.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

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