North Dakota Lawmaker Unleashes Homophobic, Racial Slurs During Dui Arrest

A North Dakota official, apprehended for driving under the influence following a Christmas celebration, warned law enforcement that they would rue targeting him. During his arrest, he engaged in a racist and homophobic tirade and even threatened to involve the state’s attorney general.

Williston Republican legislator Rep. Nico Rios faced arrest and DUI charges, including refusal to undergo a chemical test, as reported by the Bismarck Tribune. Upon being pulled over for erratic lane-keeping, Rep. Nico Rios reportedly became verbally abusive, engaging in homophobic, racially abusive, and discriminatory behavior, as indicated by details in the obtained arrest record.

Bodycam footage revealed that, when asked for his license and registration during the stop, Rep. Nico Rios attempted to provide his business card as a substitute. Subjected to a field sobriety test, the lawmaker, Rep. Nico Rios, declined to undergo a breathalyzer examination, stating to officers that he resided merely two blocks away from the location where he was pulled over.

Following his refusal to cooperate, Rep. Nico Rios was handcuffed, read his rights, and subsequently inquired with the officers, “What can I do to drive my truck and drop it off at my place?”

Upon being informed of his impending arrest, Rios directed a derogatory slur at one of the officers. Subsequently, while being placed in the back of a squad car, he insisted on accessing his phone to call North Dakota Attorney General Drew Wrigley, asserting that the officers were mistreating him.

Seated in the backseat of the police cruiser, Rios redirected his tirade towards Officer Alexander Welch, an English-born American citizen. The lawmaker singled out the officer’s accent and made the peculiar claim that individuals from England shouldn’t be involved in arresting Americans.

In the bodycam footage, Officer Alexander Welch can be seen declining to respond to Rios’ offensive remarks, while the representative persists in demeaning him from the rear of the vehicle. In 2022, Rep. Nico Rios secured his inaugural term after the establishment of District 23, encompassing sections of Williston, Trenton, and Buford in North Dakota.

Expressing deep embarrassment, the lawmaker issued an apology on December 18 for his outburst.

“This past weekend, I had a few too many drinks at a Christmas party, made the mistake of driving home, and received a DUI. I’m deeply embarrassed as this is not how I want to represent the people. My terrible decisions that night will not hinder my ability to represent and fight for the people of District 23. I’m deeply sorry and regretful for my actions,” Rios wrote on X.

State Republican Party Executive Director Andrew Nyhus released a statement saying, “We are deeply troubled by Rep. Rios’ dangerous decision to drive while intoxicated and his remarks to law enforcement officers. His behavior does not represent the values of the NDGOP.”




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