By LAUREN DONOVAN Bismarck Tribune
Posted: Thursday, October 7, 2010 2:10 am
WATFORD CITY — Brock Savelkoul didn’t look like a free man when he got into the pickup with his sister out in the McKenzie County jail parking lot Wednesday afternoon. This was no rejoicing “yeehaw!” moment.
He looked like a man leaving with the most serious orders he’d ever been given: to save a life.
Seventeen days ago, he faced deadly force in a two-hour standoff between a raving, suicidal Iraq war veteran and police trying to stop the craziness.
On Wednesday, the law put its long arm firmly around his shoulder and sent him from the McKenzie County jail directly to a Veterans Administration treatment center in Fargo.
This is no get-out-of-jail-free card.
If he leaves treatment, he returns to jail.
Savelkoul, 28, will be back in court in December to face felony and misdemeanor charges for his alcohol-fueled rampage through the county Sept. 21. He doesn’t remember writing a suicide note for his family in Minot that day, his wild sunset ride into Watford City, or taking two guns into a convenience store and pointing them at clerks and customers. He doesn’t remember speeding away from town with police in pursuit and the long, cold standoff on a dark stretch of U.S. Highway 85 when he fired his guns twice and begged cops to kill him.