A 27-year-old man has been accused of causing more than $30,000 in damage to a facility owned by the company that owns the Dakota Access Pipeline.
Destin Hall, of Williston, was arrested early Saturday morning at a facility owned by Energy Transfer Partners on 48th Street NW near Williston. He was charged with criminal mischief, a class B felony, and criminal trespassing, a class A misdemeanor and was ordered held on $10,000 bond.
Williams County Sheriff’s deputies were called to the facility and told that someone had gotten into the facility and pushed an emergency shutdown button, as well as setting off the fire suppression system on top of large holding tanks on the property, according to an affidavit of probable cause filed in Northwest District Court. Deputies found wires pulled out from a large control panel at the site, as well.
Police found Hall after following a trail of footprints through a layer of fire extinguisher powder that was on the ground, court records state.
Hall told an investigator that he had been dropped off at the facility after a fight with his girlfriend, and that he was angry and intoxicated. He admitted going into various buildings at the site, breaking things, hitting a “red switch” and pulling the pin on a fire extinguisher, charging documents indicate.
Energy Transfer Partners representatives told deputies that the initial estimate for the cleanup was more than $20,000, and that there had been between $10,000 and $15,000 in damage to the control panel. There were also financial losses from the time the facility had been shut down, investigators wrote in the affidavit of probable cause.
At a bond hearing Tuesday, Eric Lundberg, assistant state’s attorney for Williams County, asked for Hall’s bond to be set at $10,000. He said despite the fact Hall had no criminal history, he was concerned about the seriousness of the crime and the amount of damage done, which he said could be more than $40,000.
“Something needs to be in play for a class B felony with $42,000 in damages,” he said.
Hernando Perez, who represented Hall at the bond hearing, asked Northwest District Judge Josh Rustad to set Hall’s bond lower than that. He said Hall had been in the area since 2014 and had a steady job and a place to live.
He said Hall told him that he’d gotten lost early Saturday morning after an argument with his significant other.
“He was looking for shelter,” Perez said.
Rustad, however, said he thought the prosecution’s request was appropriate. He also said that based on the affidavit of probable cause, Hall told officers he was mad and intoxicated.
“I think it was a little bit more than an emergency shelter situation,” based on the probable cause affidavit, Rustad said.
It was unclear from court records how long the facility had been shut down. It also wasn’t clear whether the facility is connected to the Dakota Access Pipeline, which Energy Transfer Partners built in 2016.
Hall is scheduled to have a preliminary hearing on the charges on Nov. 8.