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Cass County deputy launches profane tirade against trooper during DUI arrest

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Jesse Barbot2 / 2

FARGO — A newly released video shows a Cass County deputy cussing out a North Dakota trooper who arrested him for drunken driving in Barnes County.

The deputy, Jesse Barbot, resigned before the Cass County Sheriff's Office reached a decision on how to discipline him for his arrest and subsequent berating of Trooper Jed Dahnke.

Dahnke pulled over Barbot for driving 35 mph in a 25 mph zone on the night of June 17. The trooper noticed that Barbot smelled of alcohol and had slightly slurred speech and bloodshot, watery eyes, according to a Cass County internal investigation report.

Barbot told the trooper he was a Cass County deputy. He said he was in the area with his wife for her class reunion, the report said.

After the trooper asked Barbot to take a breath test, "Barbot's attitude immediately changed, bringing up the fact a second time that he was in law enforcement," the report said.

"He started to request preferential treatment and not wanting to provide the breath sample. I told him I had to treat him the same and everything was being recorded," the trooper wrote in an email to a Cass County investigator. "As far as agitated/upset/unprofessional arrests I've made over eight years, he is in my top five."

Audio and video recordings, released to The Forum this month, captured exchanges between Barbot and the trooper in the trooper's squad car. "Why are you doing this?" Barbot asked at one point. "You haven't helped me out one bit."

Video from the Barnes County Jail in Valley City shows Barbot's profanity-laced haranguing of the trooper during the booking process.

"Keep up the good work on booking those f------ law enforcement on .101" blood-alcohol percentages, Barbot told the trooper. "You are the reason we all get a f------ bad rap because of b------ like you, f------ garbage."

During the traffic stop, Barbot told the trooper he'd had a couple of beers. He later told jail staff that he'd drank a beer and three "stiff" whiskies.

A breath test found that Barbot's blood-alcohol level was 0.102 percent, which is above the legal driving limit of 0.08 percent, the internal investigation report said. "Yep, my job is lost," Barbot told jail staff.

In an interview with The Forum, Barbot denied that he was looking for preferential treatment from the trooper because he was a deputy. He said he regrets driving that night and speaking to the trooper the way he did.

"That's not any way to conduct yourself," Barbot said. "I was 39 years old at the time. I know better than that."

Barbot said he has since apologized to the trooper. "This wore on me for a long time," he said of the episode. "It was not a glorious time in my life."

Barbot, who had worked as a Cass County Jail deputy for about three years, resigned in August. That month, he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of reckless driving. He paid $750 in fees and received a suspended sentence of 30 days in jail, court records show.

Barbot, who runs a boxing gym in Fargo, said he works with young boxers ages 8 and up. He said that if there's anything positive to come from his arrest, it's that the kids he trains learn to avoid making the same mistake.

"I try to make a good impact on these kids' lives," he said. "But I ain't going to get it right every time."

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