Minneapolis man charged with murder, battery in UW-Stout student's death

- A Minneapolis man has been arrested in connection with a University of Wisconsin-Stout student’s death.

Cullen Osburn, 27, of Minneapolis, was arrested Thursday night by the Hennepin County Violent Offender Task Force. He faces a felony murder charge and a felony battery charge in Hussain Alnahdi’s death. Osburn was arrested during a traffic stop in St. Paul. He is currently at the Hennepin County Jail and a court date has not yet been set.

Alnahdi, 24-year-old junior at UW-Stout from Saudi Arabia studying business administration, was assaulted last October in downtown Menomonie and died in the hospital from his injuries.

In November, police said they identified a suspect in the case, which they confirm has been Osburn.

According to the criminal complaint out of Dunn County, Wisconsin, the Menomonie Police Department responded to a fight in front of Toppers Pizza downtown on Oct. 30, 2016 where they found Alnahdi unconscious and bleeding. He was transported to a nearby hospital and was eventually airlifted to Mayo in Eau Claire.

Alnahdi’s roommates told police they had been drinking with Alnahdi at their house that night and he decided to go to the bars.

The criminal complaint details several witness accounts.

One witness, Osburn’s sister, whom was inside Toppers said she heard something hit the window and went outside to realize a fight was happening.

Osburn told his sister, Alnahdi grabbed the chain around his neck and then he pushed Alnahdi.

She also told investigators Osburn contacted her to find out what she told police.

Another witness told investigators when he realized what was happening outside Toppers he went outside. He said Osburn punched Alnahdi twice in the face.

A third witness told investigators he was on his way to Toppers and saw another man (Osburn) approach Alnahdi and began to argue with him. The witness said Alnahdi began arguing back with Osburn. He didn’t see Alnahdi get hit, but saw him fall to the ground.

A fourth witness told investigators she was near Toppers at the time of the altercation.  She saw Osburn ask Alnahdi what he just said and then Alnahdi put his hands in the air to indicate he didn’t want a problem and then the two were yelling back and forth before Osburn struck Alnahdi.

Osburn fled the scene after the incident.

According to an autopsy, Alnahdi’s cause of death was traumatic brain injury.

Police said Osburn contacted them on Nov. 2, 2016 and said he was “very scared” and would cooperate. He then stated he would contact authorities the next day because he didn’t want to say anything else without a lawyer.

Osburn didn’t contact authorities the next day and they were unable to locate him.

STATEMENT FROM UW-STOUT

The Dunn Country District Attorney’s office has charged a 27-year-old Minnesota man, Cullen M. Osburn, with felony murder and battery in the Oct. 30 attack that killed UW-Stout student Hussain Saeed Alnahdi.

I want to thank the Menomonie Police Department and Chief Erik Atkinson for tirelessly pursuing the leads that resulted in this arrest. I know that Chief Atkinson and his officers took this case very personally, and they should be commended for pursuing this investigation to this stage.

I also want to thank retired UW-Stout Police Chief Lisa Walter and interim Police Chief Jason Spetz for working very closely with Menomonie police during the investigation.

Finally, I want to thank Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf for her work in charging this suspect and offer whatever assistance she may need to ensure justice prevails in this case.

I hope this arrest brings some measure of peace and comfort to Hussain’s family in Saudi Arabia. They have gone through a living nightmare, and our hearts and prayers continue to go out to them. I also hope that Hussain’s roommates and many friends on campus also feel a sense of closure and relief with the arrest.

The death of Hussain on Oct. 31 from injuries he sustained in downtown Menomonie has affected everyone on campus, especially our international and minority students who expressed concern for their safety. 

At the same time, I have witnessed many people reaching out to these concerned students to assure them that they live and study in a safe environment. I hope these efforts to help all students feel safe on campus and in the community continues.

I also think it is worth mentioning that the criminal complaint issued in this case said the suspect “was adamant that the altercation was not a result of anybody’s race.”

Finally, I also want to thank everyone who contacted the Menomonie Police Department with information about the attack, as well as those who contributed to the reward fund administered by the Community Foundation of Dunn County and those who have contributed to the memorial fund established by the Stout University Foundation. Your efforts are truly appreciated.

Chancellor Bob Meyer

TIMELINE:

Oct. 31 UW-Stout student from Saudi Arabia assaulted, in serious condition

Oct. 31 UW-Stout student dies from violent assault

Nov. 2 $20,000 reward in deadly assault of UW-Stout student from Saudi Arabia

Nov. 4 Memorial service for fatally beaten UW-Stout student

Nov. 18 Suspect identified in UW-Stout student assault death

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