Fargo Delivery Driver Says Being Gay Put Him at Risk - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Fargo Delivery Driver Says Being Gay Put Him at Risk

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A Fargo delivery driver says his sexuality put him at risk Sunday night, while on duty, after he says he was attacked.

He sat down with Valley News Team's Hope Hanselman to describe the terrifying assault, why police told him they couldn't do much about it, and what he says needs to change in the community.

When Garrett Raedel got into his car to deliver a pizza, he never imagined what he'd get in return. After a stop at a home on 23rd Street South, in Fargo, he says curse words and homophobic slurs were yelled at him. Raedel says he was targeted for being gay.

"Before I could close the door, he rips the door open and just punches me in the face," he said.

But, Fargo Police says they can't make an arrest at the time without an officer witnessing the assault. He has to wait for prosecutors to handle the charges.

"That's the part that I have a huge issue with," Raedel said. "Like, going to a delivery and getting punched in the face and nothing can be done about it."

Raedel says he believes, "100-percent" the assault was spurred because of his sexuality.

Police also say North Dakota has no statute against hate crimes based on sexuality. Though, it's an issue the city's Human Relations Commission is working to improve.

"We want to provide for all of our community an environment to be accepted and diverse. We don't want anyone to be afraid to live in our community," Dave Lanpher, Chairman, said.

So, for now, Raedel is back at work hoping his story will deliver tolerance.

"I'm sure it happens in other places of the country, too. But, Fargo is behind the times and they really need to get with the times."

Though officers in the state of North Dakota can't take action against hate crimes, they do report those incidences to the FBI, who then collects the data.

However, the state of Minnesota does have authority to charge those crimes.

Though, in this particular case, officers say it isn't clear a hate crime occurred. Officers did take some action, Sunday evening, however. They filed a report of simple assault and disorderly conduct.

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