4 Teammates Charged in Assault of Football Player in Winnebago

November 20, 2017 11:53 PM

(KSTP) -- Two 18-year-old men and two juveniles, all high school football players, have been charged with assault in connection to an attack of a teammate that left the player unconscious. He later sought medical attention for a concussion.

Wyatt Eugene Tungland, of Frost, is charged with third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm and aiding and abetting third-degree assault. The second suspect, Dayton Lee Nagel, of Blue Earth, faces a single aiding and abetting charge. Two juveniles allegedly involved were also charged with third-degree assault and aiding and abetting. 


According to a criminal complaint, police were notified Tungland had assaulted and knocked a juvenile unconscious at a party in Winnebago on or about Oct. 19. Police interviewed several juveniles and created a list of persons of interest. 

Witnesses told police Tungland punched the juvenile while Nagel and two others held him down. 

The victim told police he had been in a fight with one of the juveniles, who had held him down prior to the fight. The victim told investigators he was attacked, pushed down and punched in the face at the party before he became unconscious, according to the criminal complaint.

The victim showed up to football practice with his face swollen and bruised, the complaint says. He told police the juvenile with whom he was in a fight showed him a video of the attack and there was more to it. 

At a school board meeting Monday night in front of a packed room of parents, Winnebago Police Chief Eric Olson called on the community to help. "We are actively looking for any video footage that anybody may have."

A different juvenile who allegedly held the victim down told police the two men and two juveniles hit him in the face "with open and closed hands." He also said the victim tried to get up, but "they pushed him down and continued to hit him," the criminal complaint states.

The victim is a sophomore. His father, Dale Hurley, shared his fury over what happened and how it's been handled at the school board meeting.

"We need change in our schools, children, teachers," he said. "Everybody gets bullied, and I believe it's getting covered up."

Hurley was referring to the fact the incident took place around October 19. The first time authorities caught wind of the attack came November 9, when a school resource officer notified Winnebago police. That was three weeks later and one day before the football team played in the state tournament. Despite the accusations, the four suspects continued to play for the rest of the season.  

That led parents like Jacob Burgett to ask, "Where's the accountability? That's what most of us are wondering." 

School district leaders acknowledged they have more work to do in addressing bullying and violence.

The four suspects were charged and in court Monday. By Monday evening they were out of jail and free to return for school Tuesday. As for the victim, his father said he's afraid to return. 

Editor's note: An earlier version of this story said two people were charged in connection to the incident. But four -- two adults and two juveniles -- have been charged.


Theresa Malloy and Beth McDonough

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