Archived Story

Student beating brings felony charges [UPDATED]

Published 6:19am Friday, February 25, 2011 Updated 8:38am Friday, February 25, 2011

A Fergus Falls High School student was found laying on the ground in a fetal position trying to protect himself while three fellow students unleashed a violent attack on the teen and causing him substantial injuries.

The victim suffered a fractured arm and had a tooth knocked out and another displaced, according to court records. He sustained a lump the size of a silver dollar under his right eye that swelled shut. His nose was bleeding and both lips had been cut open and were bleeding, records state.

A 16-year-old Fergus Falls High School student is facing felony charges for his role in the February 17 fight near the Roosevelt Education Center.

The student was arraigned Thursday in Otter Tail County Court on 3rd degree assault charges. He pleaded not guilty to charges that he caused the the alleged victim substantial bodily harm. His court file is public because he is over 16 years of age and charged with a serious felony, but The Journal has chosen not to print his name because he is a juvenile.

The fight started at about 3:20 p.m. after the victim taunted three students, police reports state. The three students confronted the victim, who then threw a punch at one of the teens.

The teens retaliated. The fight was severe enough that a school district employee driving by the altercation pulled her vehicle off to the side of the road and ran across the street in an attempt to break up the fight, reports state. The victim was on the ground and the teens were punching and kicking him, reports state.

The school employee observed the three kicking the victim in the face and mouth. He was also being kicked in the hip area and back while his shirt was pulled over the top of head and shoulders, the report states. The teens were also throwing punches.

Witnesses said they saw one of the teens get on top of the victim and pound on the back of his head and facial area. The three teens eventually ran from the scene.

After the altercation, a witness reported one of the teens saying, “We kicked his ass into the street.” They were laughing and giving each other high-fives, the witness said.

Otter Tail County District Court Judge Waldemar Senyk on Thursday set a preliminary court trial for March 25.

  • chevy lee

    hopefully they all end up in prison and same happens to them. karma get them.

  • neonmonster81218

    barely any of this stuff happened to him.^^
    He only had a fat lip and a tooth that was already broken before, and only the top of his eye was swollen.

    • koreenanderson

      So ONLY the top of his eye was swollen and that makes it ok Leasha? Thats how you made it sound in your comment as if it is still no big deal this boy was beaten? These tough boys cant be so tough if it takes three of them to beat up one boy.And if they are giving each other “high fives” afterwards doesn’t that mean that they believe what they did was right? I do not think that prison is the answer for these boys but they need to know right from wrong.

  • Beano

    One boy taunts 3 boys. 3 boys beat up one boy. WOW, those 3 boys are really tough. The 3 should have just WALKED away. Oh sure the 3 got satisfaction of beating 1. Now they have Felony charges. Real smart. I think there should be a $$$$$ amount on the victims pain/suffering. The 3 can hand over their pay checks for a while. I do not condone the victims alledged taunting either. None of were there to know what/how this exactly started.
    Leashe how can you say that barelt any of this happened to him, you were not there were you? Did you miss what the court records stated. I hope the other two are being charged also. Does not sound like they were just standing there.

  • pattyj

    Leasha H a reply to ur comment is that they and He did do it because an adult witnessed it. R U calling the adult a liar? I can honestly tell u that with u posting that comment u may have been a friend routing the criminal doing the beating on. Maybe u too should be looked at as being involved, since u posted such a comment. The very idea that u say these things did not happen leads me to believe u r no better than the ones who beat this boy up. I am happy that my family is moving from this community and that they wont have to be a part of the screwed up community anymore.

  • dr.walleye

    i saw this fight as i drove by. what the paper does not say is that the 3 young men that did the beating were black and the supposed victim that did the taunting was white. now i didnt hear the taunts but i would bet they had something to do with the color of the skin on these 3 boys. the boy that got beat got up immediately after the fight and did not appear to be hurt as he even had a smile on his face for a moment when the first kid came up to him afterwards. i dont condone 3 on 1 beatings, but i am willing to bet there is alot more to this story than what got reported. this could have been a racially motivated or a bully situation from either side of this incident. as far as a felony? no i dont think so.

  • AFMama

    Obviously we aren’t going to get the entire story here. But it is blatantly obvious that people today tend to resort to violence quicker to solve their problems…hmmm…does that make sense? Use violence to solve your problems and end up with more problems. Use the brains God gave you for petes sake!

  • ackerjohnson

    I only know what ever I know about this fight, from what I read here. I also know that English, Grammar, sentence structure and spelling are no longer taught or absorbed at my former High School.

    For that remission, I do not blame teachers, but rather computers games, texting phones and an attitude that causes some to think they can get by in life with their totally ‘rad’ looks, enough mascara to black out the windows of London during the Blitz and enough hardware on their head to jam a radar screen.

    Or in the case of males, those same phones and computer games plus your ability to dazzle the weak minded with your ability to dribble, hit, chase, bounce and throw a ball. Some day your future boss is going to say, “Look Adonis, I don’t care how well you dribbled your way through High School, I just want you to try and form a coherent thought, then express that thought in English. So I don’t feel embarrassed paying you the minimum wage to sweep the floor”.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    lol,
    Acker, I’ve never seen any video games or cell phones that teach kids to yell racial slurs or teach kids to get together and gang beat a racist. personally, I’m not so sure we should be condemning the actions of kids retaliating against a racist.
    the lesson here, quit teaching your kids to be jerks in the first place.
    2nd lesson teach your kids to walk away, like all of us would have if it was us being slurred over and over, and over…

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    violence is the American Way, when is the last time you saw a peaceful approach accomplish anything? even the local police are prone to using violence to accomplish there goals.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    as for the whining about grammar and spelling. why would kids bother to learn such when everything they say and do is ignored and condemned in advance to begin with?

    • BillSchulz

      So Jamie, if we use your logic, nobody should ever attempt to do anuthing , ever, no matter the purpose or intended or hoped for outcome, because, as you believe, it will be ignored and condemned in advance. And “violence is the American way”… “when (does) a peaceful approach accomplish anything?” If we follow your advice it will be anarchy and mayhem in the streets. I could use your logic to open a bag of oranges and, finding a couple out of a dozen spoiled, storm into the supermarket and beat the produce clerk to a pulp for selling bad products, and suffer no consequences, for it is “the American way” . The proper way to retaliate against someone who is (you assume) making racist remarks, is justifiable battery, assault? Maybe in Iran or some country where blood vengeance over insults is condoned, but not here. Why don’t you use your own code of conduct and beat the snot out of the next city council member who does something you don’t like, and see how far that gets you? Use the peaceful way as we did in November to replace some of them, but don’t retaliate with violence.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    as usual Mr. Schultz, the meanings in my posts have flown completely and deliberately over your Republican mind.
    our “peaceful” actions in November accomplished something positive?
    oh yeah more taxes, and less return, and still no input allowed from the community regarding the forced thru ice Arena.
    “violence is the American way” and that’s not my advice thats just a simple fact!
    repeated racial slurs are attacks, we shouldn’t be surprised when the victims eventually take matters into their own hands and retaliate with violence.
    what you and your GOP friends never grasp,is when you take nearly everything from a person they have very little left to lose so why should they care about the consequences of even violent actions?
    what you going to do? lock them up? beat them? whats the difference? both of those are going to happen whether they retaliate or not.
    my advice was to stop teaching children to be jerks in the first place, not anything about attacking store clerks, but you already knew that. honesty has never been a strong suit for persons of your demeanor and leanings. just as your notion that “anarchy and mayhem in the streets” is somehow a possible outcome if people take “my advice”.
    “anarchy and mayhem” are already here, that’s why we got no say in the ice arena, that’s why we get no say in pretty much anything anymore.
    my “advice” is to be respectful of others and to walk away if at all possible in potentially violent situations.
    were you educated in Fergus falls by chance? your reading comprehension skills (or lack of) suggest such.
    who has the largest military in all of human history? the USA.
    who has the largest stockpile of nuclear weapons, enough to destroy all life many times over? the USA.
    who throws the sick and elderly out on the streets while maintaining the largest financial fortunes in human history? the USA.
    what country has invaded more countries than any other in the modern world? the USA.
    what country outnumbers the rest of the world in Handgun violence and murder in general? the USA.
    so it’s just painfully obvious that Violence is the American way.
    which is of course why those in power employ violence both subtly and directly to accomplish their wants and desires.
    like the oppressed, what have they got to lose?
    thats the biggest problem in this country, too low or too high on the totem and both are essentially liberated from the standards we pretend to encourage in our society.
    we are quickly becoming a nation of civiopaths.
    you can start to reverse it by abandoning racism and ignorance. teach your children to respect others by first respecting them. this community should re-read this post many times and let it sink in. children learn what they live. and they will become exactly what you teach them to be.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    we all know that if the racial roles were reversed in this situation and it was a Black kid who was jumped by 3 white kids who were tired of being called “white devils, and “Crackers” by the “victim”, this community would have a whole difference opinion on the matter.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    when former mayoral candidate, Skip Mallas was accused of urinating in public during the election he was running in, a claim as yet is still unsubstantiated then escorted away from the polls by police for not having acceptable Identification on the most recent Election night, and subsequently the victim of a knife attack, one can’t help but to feel “violence is the American way”! at the very least the “Fergus falls way”

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    oh yeah, what country is the only one in all of history to have dropped nuclear weapons on not only military targets but civilians? and then under the last Republican president threatened to use nuclear weapons again?
    this is getting redundant, the USA!
    proving again, Violence is the American way!

  • Beano

    Agree Jamie, if it were a black kid getting beat up by white kids, racial discrimination against African Americans would be all over the media. Dead on, childern LEARN what they LIVE and they become what they are taught!!!!!

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

      considering Fergus falls’ long established and recorded history of Ku Klux Klan activity and violence against African Americans,I’m not at all surprised to see the reactions here.
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yU1QT1iJNE

  • neonmonster81218

    I’m friends with the boy, that got hurt and I was with him a few days ago. This article makes it out to be worse than it actually was. When I saw him, all he had was a puffy/bruised eye.

    • AFMama

      It still doesn’t make any of it right. The next time you saw him he shouldn’t have had anything wrong with him. It should not have gotten that far, but violence seems to be the norm nowadays.

      • Vitojr130

        I wouldn’t go with “norm”. I would more say that it is more publicized. I can almost bet that 40 years ago something like this would not have made the newspapers.

  • BillSchulz

    Jamie, for all your bluster and trying to move the discussion away from the matter at hand, i.e., your condoning the use of violence as an acceptable response to racial taunting, and your lengthy sermon about all the “faults” the USA has exhibited in its many efforts to defend its national existence, you still return to a position which justifies, even chaampions and glorifies the use of violence to settle arguments or differences of outlooks. And you want to preach about how we should rear our children while at the same time prodding them to violence in response to insults? Sorry, violence is justifiable only when a person’s safety or life is imminently threatened, when the person posing the threat displays the means (a weapon, raised fist, snarling dog),
    and obvious intent to use the means to inflict bodily harm. Even then, if you are able to remove yourself (flee, run, vamoose) from the scene and call the police, you might be held criminally liable for your own violent defense IF NOT AS A LAST RESORT. You are attempting to justify violence as a means of dealing with unpleasant situations.
    That inevitably leads to old Wild West mining camp lynch mob law. We pride ourselves as a nation of laws, and should observe them, regardless how great a burden they place on our childish urges to lash out at our detractors.
    Now, we didn’t accomplish anything in last November’s council elections? I notice that two new members have joined Randy Synstelien in attempting to stem the tide of the remaining five spendthrifts. And I personally know of at least one candidate in each ward who will challenge every one of the incumbents in the elections next year. Even if only two of the four challengers win, that will be a 5 to 3 majority. Calm down. I respect your passion and think that many of your ideas relative to alternative energy are illuminating and visionary. I would suggest you let the school and the courts work out this dustup, and continue to bring pressure on City Hall, where you can get your message across, perhaps not in one fell swoop, but incrementally.

  • BillSchulz

    An additional note, Jamie, since you have chosen to respond to my comments by attacking me personally. No, I was not a victim of the Fergus Falls Public Schools system. I was fortunate enough thet my parents sacrificied to send my siblings and myself to parochial schools in Fargo. I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Philosophy and Political Science at Georgetown (paid by myself while in the Navy) and graduate degrees in California.
    You denigrate my reading comprehension skills not because I don’t understand what you write, but because I often don’t AGREE with what you write. And, frankly, you often post opinions which are incomprehensible. Then, you follow up a few minutes later with another posting which is almost directly contradictory to what you posted a few minutes earlier. You see, I could agree with what you say in the morning on a given topic, and your “agile” mind would jump on me later that day because your afternoon postings are diametrically different from the earlier posting with which I had agreed in the morning. I have litle hope of persuading you of my viewpoints ever, but I post in response to your writings to offer another point of view. After all, people from all across the country read these posts, and I wouldn’t want them to get the notion that we all share your opinions, that you are a vox populi for Fergus Falls.

    • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

      Fergus falls could never be correlated to a mining camp, there are no resources here to mine.
      I feel compelled to repost what I said for you Bill.

      “the lesson here, quit teaching your kids to be jerks in the first place.
      2nd lesson teach your kids to walk away, like all of us would have if it was us being slurred over and over, and over…”.
      I don’t condone nor glorify violence however, I’m not so blind that I can’t see how actions create reactions.
      while you may feel being racially slurred is only an insult, others know better, and see it for the direct and immediate threat it is.
      racism tore this country apart and continues to destroy it from within.
      while here in America we struggle simply to recapture some of the momentum we once had, the rest of the world has moved beyond racism and is investing in the future.
      which is just one of the reasons I thing we should condemn racism in all it’s forms, even at the expense of a racist getting a fat lip once every 30 or 50 years or so. while you feel a life was at risk the reality here is every time those 3 other boys are slurred their lives are placed at risk. even exerting the smallest amount of effort researching this topic reveals countless examples.
      as for alternative energy, it’s not my opinion you should be concerned with, I’m not a banker/political leader with vested interests in throwing this country down the toilet to line my pockets.
      our govt. was meant to protect us from bankers and tyranny, not empower them and put them in charge.
      which is again just one of the many reasons our nation isn’t even in the top 25 anymore for any signs of prosperity and growth.
      this countries desperate clinging on to the past and immortalizing the founding fathers as demigods while ignoring nearly every concept they stood for will continue to have grave consequences for us all.

      as for what should be done in this beating case?
      the boy who instigated and provoked the incident should be told that He shouldn’t have, just as any of the rest of us would be. the others should be counseled as is determined reasonable about how to manage such incidents that will obviously continue to occur.
      doling out charges and financial burdens on the families would accomplish nothing of merit. rather instead would most likely escalate tensions.
      essentially, if you don’t want to be belittled and pushed around don’t go around belittling and pushing people around.

  • http://www.reverbnation.com/jamiecooper JAMIECOOPER.NET

    as for improvements in city leadership? far too little, far too late!
    the damage will already be done well before a realistic majority will be in power to do anything in the way of improving the mess already dumped on Fergus falls.
    just like the rest of this country. Obama won’t live long enough to undo the ravages of the Bush years. in fact most of us won’t live long enough to see any real recovery from Bushes insanity.

  • J. Anderson

    If nothing else Jamie, you are amusing! Like Mr. Schulz has explained, you are all over the map with your comments. While you do have valid points at times, you always seem to contradict yourself on a regular basis. As for the 3 students being white, black, asian, hispanic or any other nationality makes no difference. It is still 3 individuals assaulting 1. No matter what was said verbally to the three, they know that assaulting someone,anyone, is wrong and should be charged accordingly. You always attack someone personally for having different opinions from your own but isn’t that what one of your big soap box rants are all about, being able to differ in opinion and still have a meaningful debate. If you are so disgusted with what the U.S.A. has done in the past and what it is doing now, maybe you should move to Iran or Syria and see how far your opinions go there. They have a way of dealing with those that disagree with the way that the governing factions are doing things. It’s called “EXECUTION”. See how that works for ya.

  • J. Anderson

    Another thing that I find that really irritates me, is the fact that if it is a white person that is verbally or physically abusing someone, they are immediately labeled a racist. But if it is someone that is latino, asian, black or any other nationality, they are just “defending” themselves and not racist. I’m sure I will be labeled a racist for even raising the question but I guess that’s just the way it is….

    • dr.walleye

      all right jeff, lets rework this whole scenerio. lets forget about the color of the skin on anyone. lets say the person taunting was using a bullying attack or worse yet threatening one of these boys or perhaps a sister with bodily harm and/or rape. lets say it is being directed at you or someone in your family, maybe even a daughter. the logical course would be to walk away and alert authorities. what would happen then? someone (school or maybe police) would talk with this person and tell them to stop it. now the person gets mad and decides to go thru with his actions or ramp up his actions to even a worse violent scenerio. dont think it doesnt happen, read the news, it happens everyday in every city in the world. i dont condone what the 3 boys did, but sometimes a threat has to be met head on with enough violence to deter that individual from acting out. now granted we did alot of speculating here, but like i said this scenerio plays out many times all over the world. just ask the familys of some victims that got restraining orders to protect themselves and they are now dead. what would have stopped this from happening? swift and violent force? the result couldnt have been any worse than the outcome for the dead. but like i said we are speculating and changing things around a bit here as we have no idea what actually lead to this assault. should these 3 boys, regardless of color, be held accountable for their actions and punished? yes they should. but it certainly shouldnt be a felony. and what about the boy that did the taunting? even though he got beat up should he be held accountable for his actions and punished? yes he should. i dont see an innocent victim in this instance and all should have the book thrown at them. felony, no, counseling yes, few hundred hours of community service to help put things into perspective, definetly.

      • dr.walleye

        oh i almost forgot, in the world we live in, we cant ignore the color of the skin on any involved. someday the world will become a better place and it wont even be a factor, but today it is.

      • J. Anderson

        O.K. Dr. Walleye, please feel free to correct me if I am wrong, but what you are telling me is that just the right amount of violence should be used to deter someone from acting on a threat that was made rather than notifying the proper authorities be it school or law enforcement. That means that if someone that has threatened a friend or family member with assault, rape or death, then I would be within my right to use lethal force to stop that from happening. If your statement was a boat, it wouldn’t float. I always find it amusing that while people believe there should be punishment for someone’s actions, that instead of the punishment fitting the crime, that the charge should be of a lesser degree and they should get counseling instead. Can someone tell me how you suppose the victims of Jeffrey Dahmer, Ted Bundy, Charles Manson, etc. would feel about that. Yes, those are extreme examples, but sometimes an extreme example is what it takes to get someone to realize “counseling” isn’t going to work if you have someone that is prone to violence and isn’t scared of “counseling” and “community service”. How do you know that these youths have not been involved in gang type assaults before. I don’t know them but I would rather see them charged accordingly so that a police officer isn’t at your or my front door telling us that a loved one was just murdered by that person cuz the “counselor” was sure that they had gotten through to them and they just don’t understand what went wrong. And like you said, that’s a lot of speculation, but lets not lose sight of the fact that 3, not 1 or 2, but 3 juveniles had 1, let me repeat that, 1 juvenile on the ground and were punching and kicking him. I’m not sure if you were aware of this, but “1″ well place kick can “KILL” someone. Would you want to be the one telling his parents that you thought it was justified because their son had “verbally”, let me repeat that also, “verbally” assaulted them. Stop being such a bunch of wamby pamby’s and grow some thicker skin. I remember as a kid a popular phrase that we all new. “Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can not hurt me”.

  • J. Anderson

    Oh yeah, and for the record, you will notice that not once did I mention the race, color or religious beliefs of any that were involved because not one of those things matter. If you do the crime, then you should do the time regardless of skin color, race or religion.

    • dr.walleye

      jeff, you talked about jamie being all over the board with his comments. did you by chance read anything i wrote? or more importantly did you read anything you just wrote? you tell me im wrong when i talked about sometimes force needing to be used and then you jump to lethal force? and i said counseling should be used in conjunction with punishment, but you totally tear that down. jeffrey dahmer? ted bundy? manson? it appears your saying lock everyone up for any crime no matter how small? and counseling will never work? counseling can be a useful tool when used correctly. im not sure what your getting at as to what should be done about this? and yes you didnt bring race into it, but it smacks in your statement. sure one placed kick can kill, but one placed statement can have the same result, thats what the bullying problems are of today that they are trying to fix. so would this situation have been acceptable in your rational if it would have been one kid on one kid? i think its best you just stay in your moms basement and keep playing your make believe world of warcraft and leave the the hard solutions to the adults.

      • J. Anderson

        I used your words to come to the conclusion that some people would have. I asked questions, not questioned your intelligence, but now I have to wonder. If the juvenile one of the juveniles involved, and by the way not all three were charged with a felony according to the article, most likely had a previous record that involved violence against someone else. Usually the courts don’t just jump to felonies unless they are warrented for a juvenile. Apparently you have the same problem that most bleeding heart liberals do, a lack of debating skills so you need to turn to personal attacks. Go find a tree to hug cuz in your world that will make everything better.(sorry, had to sink to your level for just a moment)

  • P. Carlson

    This paper is doing wrong when it fails to publish names that are allowed by law to print. There must have been other crimes that he did to get a felony on this one. What better way to make him think twice about more crime? Putting the name in print may just make him think twice before acting like a gang hoodlum again. As a parent, I would like to know who my kids should avoid.

    • Vitojr130

      It is people like you that really make me mad. The papers finally have done something right. He has not been proven guilty yet. He has not been convicted of a felony yet. What ever happened to innocent until proven guilty in a court of law? He hasn’t had his court date yet so therefore he isn’t guilty and for you to slander him and think that your kids should avoid him without knowing anything is downright wrong. He even pleaded not guilty. I think it is ridiculous how newspapers post people’s names and have people slander them in the comment section, without being proven guilty. The worst is when someone has his dignity ripped from him in this manner because of an accusation, only to be acquitted. The newspapers don’t ever run the story on how they were acquitted. Fact of the matter is, people are innocent until proven guilty. Period. It’s one of the major things our country was founded on and people forget that ALL THE TIME.

  • Beano

    A suspect does not have to have a previous record to be charged with a Felony. Misdemeanor vs Felony depends on the seriousness of the crime.

  • racingswan

    There were no words said before the first punch was thrown. There were words the day before when two of the three boys punched the victims best friend. Plus there are other victims from the past, five that I know of and probably more so it’s time to get these bullies out of our school system. Targeting someone and making a sport out of beating someone up is wrong on so many levels.

    My deepest thanks to the woman who stopped and yelled at them. Getting kicked in the head repeatedly can be fatal and I believe it would have had a tragic ending had their not been witnesses. Thank you from the bottom of my heart. You probably saved his life.

    • cowboyup

      Well I have been reading everyones posts, it is amazing to read all of this. WOW!!!!!!!!!! Kids are going to be kids but their actions on how they react to others actions are a learned lesson from their parents. As for the child that was injured I feel bad for him, at the same time he should not have been saying the things he did to the other kids. Race does seem to be playing a role in this…..To Mick Moore as the Bible says “do on to others as you will have done on to you.”

      And to those of you that were lashing out at Leasha H, hope you all feel good about yourselves for lashing out at a child that has now since passed.

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