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Bemidji Pioneer 

Alleged Cass Lake robbery results in charges


At least three individuals have been charged for their roles in a robbery that allegedly occurred last Wednesday in Cass Lake.

Two victims were allegedly assaulted as they were kicked and struck by fists, a heavy flashlight and a crutch.

Justin Lyle Cutbank, 25, of Duluth, Minn., and Hunter Craig Pemberton, 19, of Cass Lake, both have been charged with first-degree aggravated robbery and robbery. Cutbank, who has not been located, also was charged with fleeing police in a motor vehicle.

George Fineday III, 24, of Cass Lake, has been charged with fleeing a peace officer in a motor vehicle and third-degree driving while impaired.

A fourth suspect, a juvenile, also was arrested in connection to the incident.

According the criminal complaint:

Cutbank and Pemberton were driven by Fineday in the early morning Wednesday, Sept. 21, to a residence near Cass Lake. Two others were in the vehicle, including the juvenile and a 25-year-old man who has not been charged. Having arrived, Cutbank and Pemberton went to the door and were allowed into the residence by a female who answered the door.

The duo approached a male who was sleeping on the couch, roused him and began threatening him. Pemberton punched him with a closed fist and kicked him. Cutbank took a heavy flashlight from near the couch and struck the male on the side of the head. The male, injured, fell to the ground.

The female who had let them in was using crutches to get around, but tried to intervene. Cutbank pushed her down and assaulted her with one of the crutches.

He and Pemberton then stole $60 cash that was on a table, the heavy flashlight and other tools. They fled.

Fineday then drove them from the scene.

After receiving a 911 call from the female victim and obtaining a description of the vehicle, the Grand Prix was spotted at a nearby intersection. Fineday refused to pull over, but was eventually stopped along Mission Road Northeast. Fineday exited the vehicle and attempted to flee, but was arrested by Leech Lake and Beltrami County law enforcement.

Pemberton exited the vehicle and was arrested by a Minnesota State Patrol officer. As he was being arrested, Cutbank moved behind the wheel of the vehicle and drove away.

He drove the vehicle into a west ditch about 300 yards down the road and fled into the woods. He was not located.

Once at the Law Enforcement Center, Fineday registered a .18 blood-alcohol content.

The maximum penalty for aggravated robbery is 20 years in prison and a $35,000 fine. The maximum for robbery is 10 years and a $20,000 fine.

Fleeing police in a motor vehicle carries a maximum penalty of three years and one day and a $3,000 fine while third-degree DWI carries a maximum of one year and a $3,000 fine.


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