A highly respected man known as the "Hockey Doctor" needed 18 stitches to his head after being mugged in a north Minneapolis cemetery. George Nagobads, 93, was released from the hospital Tuesday morning.
The Hall of Fame doctor was attacked while visiting his late wife Velda's grave site at Crystal Lake Cemetery around 3 p.m. on Sunday. Nagobads told Fox 9 he was changing flowers at the cemetery when someone came up behind him, smashed him on the head and stole his wallet. A witness said Dr. Nagobads was left bleeding from the head, but managed to get back in his car and drive away.
"It just looked like he was horrified and he was bleeding," said the witness, who asked not to be identified. "The gentleman said to me that [he] was bleeding. 'I gave him my wallet but he still tried to kill me.'"
Nagobads was the Gophers men's hockey team physician for 34 years until his retirement in 1992. He also worked for the Minnesota North Stars in the late '80s and early '90s, and was team doctor for 5 U.S. men's Olympic hockey squads, including the "Miracle on Ice" team that won gold in 1980.
Neighbor Cathy Scoffman says everyone in the Edina neighborhood where Nagobads lives is hoping he can recover. In the meantime, cemetery management says they're still reviewing security footage in hopes a camera caught a glimpse of the culprit.
The witness said that a few minutes after Nagobads drove off, he saw a young man looking through a wallet near a mausoleum. The witness then chased the suspect through the cemetery.
"Blue hoodie with a dark backpack and lighter stripes," the witness said, regarding the suspect's description. "And he was riding a dark-framed BMX bike."
The suspect ended up escaping after he threw his bike over a fence before climbing over it himself and taking off, the witness says.
"I knew I was not going to be able to perform that feat," the witness adds.
The cemetery is owned by Bill McReavy, who said, "This is an isolated incident and we are looking at it very closely."
It wasn't captured on security video. McReavy says his cemetery is open to the public, with walkers and cyclists passing through everyday. He adds that this is the first time anything like this has happened there.