BLUE EARTH, Minn. (KMSP) - Four Blue Earth Area High School students are facing felony charges after allegedly beating another student at a party, according to a criminal complaint released Monday.
Wyatt Eugene Tungland and Dalton Lee Nagel, both 18, as well as two underage suspects were charged with aiding and abetting assault for their role in the incident, while Tungland is also charged with third degree assault.
The father of the victim, Dale Hurley, was among dozens of angry parents who showed up at the school board meeting Monday night to hold Blue Earth school administrators accountable for the ongoing bullying throughout the district.
"He's scared to go to school," said Hurley. "His friends are scared to tell him what happened to him. They've been hiding it for several weeks."
According to the criminal complaint, on Nov. 9 the Winnebago Police Department learned Tungland may have assaulted and knocked out a juvenile at a fight during a party in Winnebago, Minn.
A witness told police he saw Tungland punch the victim in the face while Nagel and two others, whose initials were listed by police as B.J.B. and C.R.O., held the victim down.
In an interview with police, the victim said he was in a dispute with B.J.B before the incident. At the party, he said he remembered being pushed down and getting punched in the face before losing consciousness.
The next day, with his face bruised, he went to football practice at school. He said B.J.B. showed him a video of B.J.B. and C.R.O. punching him in the face. The victim later learned he suffered a concussion from the incident.
C.R.O admitted to police he, Tungland, Nagel, and B.J.B all took turns hitting the victim in the head and face with open and closed hands and when the victim tried to get up they pushed him back down and kept hitting him.
It's unclear why it took three weeks for someone to report the assault to police. Winnebago Police Chief Eric Olson says that's part of the investigation. Parents at the school board meeting believe there was some sort of cover-up involved because the teens arrested were star players on the football team.
Superintendent Evan Gough doesn't believe that's the case, but says it's clear more needs to be done to stop the bullying.
"Based on what we heard tonight we definitely have some things that we want to be looking at as a district to work on and improve," said Gough.
The superintendent would not disclose any disciplinary action the school here has taken against the students who have been charged, citing privacy reasons.