Claiming Home Inspector Trespass, Real Estate Brokers Fight Disorderly Conduct Charges – InForum
GLYNDON, Minn. – When Carla Olson and William Salgat found a man in April 2020 standing in the garage of a property they were selling, they told him he had broken in illegally and said they would file a complaint.
Days later, a Glyndon cop handed the two real estate brokers citations of disorderly conduct for Olson and assault for Salgat.
“We caught him committing a crime, and that’s what happened,” said Salgat.
Nearly two years later, the owners of real estate brokerage firm CB Properties are fighting misdemeanor counts in Clay County District Court. They claim that the allegations made against them by the man in the garage, RC Homes owner Ryan Dietrich, were taken more seriously than theirs because Dietrich is a former Fargo police officer.
This is a claim that Dietrich, a city attorney, and Michael Cline, then Glyndon’s police chief, deny.
“It had nothing to do with the actions taken during the incident,” Cline told the Forum.
Dietrich reported the incident to the Glyndon Police Department on April 3, 2020, shortly after the encounter.
He said he showed up early for the 3 p.m. appointment to inspect the house, court documents show. The buyer’s agent let him into the home, owned by Olson, around 1:30 p.m.
Court documents alleged that Salgat immediately began swearing against Dietrich when real estate brokers arrived at their property. He also alleged that Olson yelled at him.
Dietrich said he tried to explain that he was the detective before saying he would be leaving.
At one point, Salgat grabbed Dietrich’s ladder and slammed it against the ground before approaching Dietrich’s face, according to the complaint. Dietrich said Salgat screamed, cursed, spat in Dietrich’s face and hit his chest, according to police reports obtained and verified by The Forum.
Dietrich said he was concerned about his safety and about COVID-19, according to the police report.
Olson and Salgat told a different story. They said they arrived at the house at around 1:45 p.m. to clear snow before the inspection.
Contrary to Dietrich’s claims, brokers said the pickup truck parked diagonally at the end of the driveway and partially across the street had no branding or trade logos.
Dietrich said he wears a uniform for his company when he goes to inspections, but Olson and Salgat also disputed this statement.
They said they noticed the front door was wide open. They were concerned that someone might have broken into the house, which has happened before when other properties were sold, they said.
The garage door then opened, revealing Dietrich standing behind, they said. Salgat said he neutrally asked what the man was doing there. When Dietrich said he was the inspector, Olson said he was not supposed to be there until 3 p.m., according to his written statement given to police.
They then asked Dietrich to leave, but claimed he wouldn’t and became combative. At one point it emerged that Dietrich was about to leave, but he came back to Salgat and punched the real estate broker in the chest, Salgat and Olson said. They claim Dietrich was the one screaming and spat in Salgat’s face.
Dietrich eventually left without completing the inspection, but not before Olson said, “Your actions are unacceptable and I will report you,” according to his statement.
Salgat said he put the ladder down in the snow, that he had not slammed it, the statement said.
Salgat said they were attending home inspections to protect their assets and record damage. Dietrich has said in police reports that realtors and clients have not turned up due to the coronavirus pandemic and social distancing rules.
Olson said Glyndon’s police officer Ryan Schock contacted them hours after the incident regarding Dietrich’s filing of a complaint. She said she was told no charges would be sought after telling police her version of what happened.
Two days later, she was cited for misconduct. Salgat was initially charged with fifth degree assault. The misdemeanor charge was eventually replaced with disorderly conduct.
They later found out that Dietrich worked for the Fargo Police Department from October 12, 2012 to April 5, 2019.
“The ex-cop thing makes a lot of sense,” Salgat said.
Police determined Dietrich was entitled to be on the property. Officers found “no validity” in Olson’s complaint against Dietrich, so they did not seek formal charges against him, according to a police report.
The report also states that no one else witnessed the altercation.
Moorhead City Attorney’s Assistant Attorney Tara Nagel represents the State of Minnesota against Olson and Salgat.
When asked what Olson and Salgat did to justify the charges, Moorhead City prosecutor Cheryl Duysen said she couldn’t speak specifically about the case because litigation is ongoing.
“The prosecutions of our office for criminal offenses do not take into account the professional experience of the accused or the victims of crime,” she told the Forum. “We look at the facts underlying the allegation, and if we determine that there is probable cause that a crime has taken place, we proceed from there.”
Dietrich told the Forum that police investigated the incident extensively by speaking with neighbors and gathering evidence. He called the situation “ridiculous”.
“He didn’t have to get to what he did,” he said. “It is very unfortunate.”
Dietrich said he was just doing his job, no trespassing.
“I was providing a service and I was allowed to be there,” he said.
Cline, who retired shortly after the incident, said he remembered few details about the case. He said he had never met Dietrich before the inspector reported the incident and that the former boss was unaware that Dietrich was an officer before the charges were laid.
Olson said she felt indicted because she didn’t let Dietrich finish her job. Salgat said he believed Dietrich went to the police because real estate brokers said they would report the incident to police.
Salgat and Olson claim free speech protected what they said to property because Dietrich was allegedly trespassing. The two have asked the court to dismiss the charges, saying the state has no record against them.
The two are now representing themselves after firing two lawyers. A lawyer told them that if they paid a fine and took anger management classes, the charges would be dropped after some time, Olson said.
“It won’t happen,” Salgat said. “I am an innocent man who was victimized on my own property, and no one seems to care.”
Salgat and Olson have filed motions to suppress evidence, claiming officers came to the property and took photos without a warrant. They asked for the dismissal.
Salgat also claims his due process rights were violated when Judge Jade Rosenfeldt granted Nagel’s request to continue the trial in June, as prosecutors were unwilling to prosecute despite requests from the defense to go. ahead with the trial.
Prosecutors argued in court documents that the defense did not demand a speedy trial.