Man on the run after driving car through Fargo-Moorhead bike race

Riders are urging safety ahead of a jam-packed week and the big race Saturday.
Published: May. 16, 2023 at 10:09 PM CDT|Updated: May. 16, 2023 at 10:11 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - One man is on the run, after leading police on a chase and driving his car through a popular bike race in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

While police search for 40-year-old Vernon Houle, riders say they’re just thankful no one was hurt and hope something like this doesn’t happen again.

“I wouldn’t have entertained the idea that this was going to happen,” West Fargo rider Clyde Ripplinger said.

It’s a busy week in the Metro, just days out from this year’s Fargo Marathon. The week-long celebration kicked off Monday, with Cyclothon.

“When everyone is sitting on the couch watching football, I’m probably on my bike,” Ripplinger said.

It wasn’t his first time making the 26.2 mile trek, but what happened in the final stretch caught him and other riders by surprise.

“I’m thinking, why isn’t this guy stopping? All that ran through my mind was, I hope he doesn’t hit a bicyclist.”

Just miles from the finish line, a driver in a stolen car went around the barricades, over a ditch and into the bikers’ path.

“It really amazes me that people would do something like this and put that many people in jeopardy and in danger,” Ripplinger added.

Fargo Police say 40-year-old Vernon Houle took off after they tried to pull him over. They’ve since found the car, but they’re still looking for Houle.

“Especially after all those miles, you don’t want to end your ride on a Monday night in the hospital.”

As the F-M area prepares for a jam-packed week, those like Ripplinger are urging safety ahead of the big race.

Anyone with information on Houle’s whereabouts should call Fargo Police.