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War vet run over and left for dead in Fargo

Justin Bohmer escaped injury during his two Army tours in Iraq, despite his dangerous mission of escorting convoys while dodging roadside bombs.

The irony that he would be struck and left for dead on a Fargo street Wednesday by what police believe was a hit-and-run driver was not lost on his father.

"You spend almost two and a half years in Iraq, where it's supposed to be dangerous and nothing matters," an angry Dan Bohmer said. "You come back to the relative safety of Fargo and some piece of crap runs you down."

"What kind of piece of crap, what kind of moral garbage, would do that?" he asked.

The former Moorhead City Council member joined police in asking for the public's aid in identifying the vehicle that ran over his 25-year-old son.

A passer-by reported seeing Justin Bohmer lying on Eighth Street South between 12th and 13th avenues at 4:43 a.m., Fargo Sgt. Mark Lykken said.

Officers arrived to find him bleeding "pretty heavily" from the head, Sgt. Bill Ahlfeldt said.

Bohmer was in and out of consciousness and couldn't tell police what happened, he said.

By afternoon, Bohmer was listed in serious condition at MeritCare Hospital. He remained in serious condition Thursday morning.

Doctors stitched up his head, repaired his arm's severely fractured humerus and were fitting him for a back brace for his fractured vertebrae, his father said, adding that his son will remain sedated at least for the next day or so until the back brace is in place.

"Then they can start waking him up and we can start assessing the ... true neurological damage, if any," he told reporters at MeritCare.

An accident reconstruction team worked the scene. Lykken said it appeared a southbound vehicle hit Justin Bohmer and drove over him.

Bohmer's personal effects, including a backpack, beer cans, a hat and gloves, were scattered on the street, Ahlfeldt said.

Lykken said it appeared that Bohmer had been walking on Eighth Street.

Dan Bohmer said his son lives about two blocks from the scene and had been coming home from a friend's house downtown.

He lashed out at a reporter who asked why his son was walking in the road and not on the sidewalk, and also blasted The Forum for allowing readers to speculate on its Web site about what his son was doing there at that time.

"It doesn't matter where he was walking, why he was walking, what time he was walking or anything else," he said, later adding, "What matters is you had a human being, a decent man, get run down and left to die."

Police have no witnesses or vehicle description, Lykken said. Investigators collected evidence at the scene, but it was nothing that would help lead them to the vehicle, he said.

Anyone with information about the incident is asked to call Fargo police at (701) 241-1405.

Dan Bohmer said there is a $2,000 reward being offered for anyone supplying information that leads to the arrest and conviction of the driver who hit his son.

Bohmer, an active duty Minnesota National Guard member who resides in Moorhead but works in the Twin Cities, said he first heard the news about his son's injuries from Justin's mother, Teresa Bohmer of Barnesville, Minn.

Justin Bohmer, a 2003 graduate of Barnesville High School, moved to Fargo about 14 months ago from Fort Bragg, N.C., where he served with the 82nd Airborne Division. He works as a service representative at Shotwell Floral in Fargo, his father said.