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Dad chases down alleged drunken driver in Moorhead

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news Morris, 56267

Morris Minnesota 607 Pacific Avenue 56267

Heather Arntson had already dialed 911 to report the car that slammed into an SUV carrying her husband, herself and their four children, including a 3-month-old baby and 20-month-old toddler.

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But when the car's alleged drunken driver tried to flee the south Moorhead scene, she called 911 again - only, it was now the driver who was probably in the greatest danger.

"I said, 'The suspect's running now, and he picked the wrong guy because my husband's an Army Ranger,' " she said she told the dispatcher.

Her husband, Mike Arntson, was able to chase down the driver and stop him without a physical fight. Then he searched the man and marched him back to the crash scene.

"I guess my military training just kind of kicked in," the Iraq war veteran said.

Siriphone Sayarath, 23, of Fargo was arrested on suspicion of DWI, leaving the scene of an accident and disobeying a stop sign, Moorhead police Sgt. Tory Jacobson said.

Sayarath was being held Monday afternoon in the Clay County Jail, which does not accept messages for inmates.

The accident happened about 5:26 p.m. Sunday as the Arntsons were driving to a friend's house on 40th Street South. The other driver was eastbound on 40th Avenue in a Kia Rio car when he allegedly ran the stop sign and struck Arntson's Ford Expedition.

"I immediately thought, 'Oh my God, the baby, is the baby OK,' " Mike Arntson said. "But he was. He practically slept through the whole thing."

After exchanging insurance information, Arntson said, the driver told him he had to go to the bathroom. The driver went around the corner of the house, and a bystander yelled that he took off running. Arntson said he quickly caught up with the driver three or four houses away.

"I mean, he had just carelessly slammed his car with the hip-hop blasting into my family on a nice, sunny Sunday afternoon, and I wasn't going to let him try and slip away and sober up," he said.

Sayarath was convicted of DWI in 2007 and sentenced to 200 days in jail with all but 10 days conditionally suspended for six years, according to Forum archives.

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