Wyatt Eugene Tungland, left, and Dalton Lee Nail, both 18, are charged in connection with the beating of a 16-year-old.
(Faribault County Sheriff’s Department)
The alleged beating of a high school football player – allegedly by four of his teammates — is a small town in Minnesota to argue on the topic of bullying.
The four players on the Blue Earth Area High School, at the age of 16 to 18, face felony charges including third-degree assault to cause substantial bodily harm — and complicity.
Authorities say an 18-year-old senior, Wyatt Tungland, is accused of punching a 16-year-old team-mate in the face and head, while the other three teens held him down.
Tungland’s attorney, Chris Ritts, says witness accounts do not support the cost.
The alleged attack reportedly occurred at a house party Oct. 19 in Winnebago, Minn. The victim told the police that he had been in a dispute with one of the suspects, was pushed down, punched in the face and knocked unconscious.
According to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, the 16-year-old’s parents didn’t learn about the alleged assault until days later, when their son’s headaches and vomiting continued.
A doctor has determined that the teen had suffered a concussion, the newspaper reported.
Blue Earth students will be charged for the attacks of juvenile https://t.co/3gtqQHHBln
— Christina Palladino (@CPalladinoFox9) 21 November 2017
Since the report of the alleged assault, the 16-year-old’s parents have demanded action from the local school board, but to say that they are frustrated.
“Everyone bullied, and I believe that it is getting covered up,” Dale Hurley, the father of the boy, said at a school board meeting.
Tonya Hurley, the mother of the boy, told the newspaper that while her son was at home, wounded and sick, the four suspects went on to play in their team’s state playoff game.
Authorities arrested the suspects last week — days after Blue Earth was taken away from postseason play, the Star-Tribune reported.
Winnebago police chief Eric Olson said that it is unclear why it took three weeks for the assault to be reported to the police, 9 Fox reported.
Some parents at the school board meeting suggested it may had to do with the suspects is star players of the football team.
Next to Tungland, who was charged with third-degree assault and aiding and abetting third-degree assault, senior Dalton Nail, also 18, was charged with third-degree complicity.
The other two suspects are minors.
Schools Superintendent Evan Gough told the newspaper a plan will be developed to better respond to bullying in district schools. He said that he heard that some students are reluctant to report bullying for fear of retaliation.
The suspects were released from jail pending further court action, the Star-Tribune reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.