Fishing opener homicide at Mille Lacs, Minn. resort

- A Prior Lake, Minn. 46-year-old dubbed David “Super Dave” Taute by friends and family has died after getting punched in the face at a Mille Lacs resort during fishing opener weekend.

Sheriff’s officials said Taute had been in a confrontation with 44-year-old Brooklyn Center man David Stay at Nitti’s Hunter’s Point Resort. Deputies arrived 1:06 a.m. on May 14 to find Taute being loaded into an ambulance unresponsive. He was airlifted to North Memorial and pronounced dead.

Stay had been staying at the resort and admitted to deputies he hit Taute on the left side of his face. Stay was arrested at 6:05 a.m. at the resort and booked for first- and second-degree manslaughter.

Taute’s fiancée Cathie Kranz says Stay was also a regular at Nitti’s but neither she nor Taute knew him very well. She said the pair’s interaction that night was brief, and occurred right before the fatal blow was delivered.

“Evidently, this guy just kind of came up and was acting crazy,” said Kranz. “Somebody walked in to get help and my Dave knew who he was so he walked up to him, hands in his pockets, and said ‘What’s the problem?’ and he just hauled off and hit him and that was it.”

Kranz said Taute was a loving father to a 19-year-old son, and a caring, loving individual who rarely met someone he didn’t like.

“You couldn’t be mad at Dave. There’s no way you could be mad at Dave,” she said. “It’s like a nightmare. It never should have happened. Because he never would have hurt anyone. He didn’t deserve that.”

Stay was released on bail Monday afternoon. Attempts to reach him at his Brooklyn Park home went unanswered.

Sheriff’s officials are investigating, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office at 320-983-8250.

His obituary states he "passed away unexpectedly on May 14, 2016. He had a larger than life personality, his smile was infectious, and his humor was second to none. Dave's passion was fishing and hunting. He is preceded in death by his sister, Lisa; step father, Doug. He will be deeply missed by his son, Michael; fiancé, Cathie Kranz; parents, Michael (Kathy) and Char Hansen; sister, Debbie; his dog, Hank and many other loving family and friends."

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