A man has admitted to deliberately running over a teenager in North Dakota after “a political argument” because he believed the pedestrian was a member of a Republican extremist group, according to reports.
Shannon Brandt, 41, allegedly drove down pedestrian Cayler Ellingson, 18, in McHenry Alley early on Sunday after an argument at a street festival.
He was charged with vehicular homicide and left the scene of the crash that resulted in his death in Foster County on Monday.
But Mr Brandt was released on Tuesday after posting a $50,000 bond, sparking concern and anger, according to prison records.
The defendant told investigators he fled the scene after hitting Ellingson, but he returned briefly and called 911 before leaving again.
He also admitted drinking alcohol before the incident and believed the teen was calling people to harm him.
“Brandt admitted hitting a pedestrian with his car because he had a political argument with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling for people to pick him up,” the court documents said.
“Brandt admitted to leaving the scene of the incident and returning shortly after calling 911.”
Ellingson was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, but was later pronounced dead.
According to Inforum, the man believed the teenager was associated with “a Republican extremist group.”
Investigators tracked Mr Brandt to his Glenfield home on Sunday and agreed to a chemical breath test that showed his blood alcohol level was above 0.08 per cent, the legal limit for driving.
After an argument with Mr Brant, Ellingson called his mother to pick him up and asked if she knew the man. When she was on her way to pick up her son from a street dance, she spoke to her son again when the teenager said “‘he’ or ‘they’ were chasing him”.
His parents told police they knew the accused but believed their son did not.