Man admits to running over teenager he suspected of ‘links to extreme right political group’

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Shannon Brandt, 41, allegedly ran over pedestrian Cayler Ellingson, 18, with his car in a McHenry alley, North Dakota on Sunday (Screengrab/ WDAY-TV)

A man admitted to deliberately running over a teenager in North Dakota after “a political argument”, because he believed that the pedestrian was part of a Republican extremist group, according to reports.

Shannon Brandt, 41, allegedly ran over pedestrian Cayler Ellingson, 18, with his car in a McHenry alley on early Sunday following an altercation between them at a street festival.

He was charged with vehicular homicide and leaving the scene of an accident that resulted in death on Monday in Foster County.

But Mr Brandt was released from jail after he posted a $50,000 bond on Tuesday, sparking concern and outrage among people, according to jail records.

The accused told investigators that he fled the scene after hitting Ellingson, but he returned briefly to call 911 before he left again.

He also admitted to drinking alcohol prior to the incident and thought that the teen was calling people to harm him.

“Brandt admitted to striking the pedestrian with his car because he had a political argument with the pedestrian and believed the pedestrian was calling people to come get him,” the court document said.

“Brandt admitted to leaving the scene of the incident and returning shortly after where he called 911.”

Ellingson was taken to a local hospital with serious injuries, but was later pronounced dead.

According to Inforum, the man believed that the teenager had affiliations to “a Republican extremist group”.

Investigators tracked Mr Brandt to his home in Glenfield on Sunday and consented to a chemical breath test which showed his blood alcohol content was above 0.08 per cent, the legal limit to drive.

Ellingson called his mother to pick him up after the argument with Mr Brandt and asked her if she knew the man. She talked to her son again when she was on the way to pick him up from the street dance when the teenager said “that ‘he’ or ‘they’ were chasing him”.

His parents told the police that they knew the accused but believe their son did not know him.