Father sues police, city after traffic stop made him miss the birth of his son


A father is suing the city of Fergus Falls and its police department for more than $50,000 because he says a traffic stop caused him to miss the birth of his son two years ago.

According to a lawsuit, the Fergus Falls Journal reports, that Dennis Fronning, of Battle Lake, was pulled over near County Road and Highway 210 while he was rushing his wife Melissa to Lake Region Hospital on the advice of their midwife, who had noticed complications during the couple's planned home birth on April 28, 2013.

Fronning said he called the Otter Tail County Sheriff's Office and told an operator he was heading to the hospital 20 miles away in Fergus Falls as quickly as possible, and claims he was told to ignore the sirens and keep on driving when a police officer intercepted him.

He stopped the car when an ambulance caught up with them, but while his wife was taken to the hospital, Fronning says he was detained by the officer and kept in a locked squad car in the hospital parking lot while his wife had the baby. He was only allowed in after she'd had their son.

Valley News Live reports that the Fronning family is suing for damages in excess of $50,000 for embarrassment, extreme emotional trauma and mental pain.

A defense lawyer told the TV station he expects the officers and the city of Fergus Falls will be exonerated, saying that if officers had not stepped in there could have been "tragic consequences."

He said their priorities were getting Melissa Fronning to hospital and preventing a crash "while Dennis frantically drove through Fergus Falls."

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