Ray Widstrand, St. Paul gang beating victim, still hospitalized, unconscious
Isaac Maiden (right) and three juveniles have been arrested in connection with Widstrand's (left) beating.
More than a week after he was brutally beaten by a mob of teenagers in St. Paul's East Side, 26-year-old Ray Widstrand still isn't out of the woods.
Around 11:30 p.m. on Sunday, August 4, Widstrand was taking a walk near his apartment when he came across a group of 30 to 40 teens brawling near the intersection of Payne and Minnehaha avenues. Some of the teens redirected their aggression from each other to Widstrand. A witness said he was knocked to the ground after being hit by a can in a sock, then stomped. At one point his pants were removed and the attackers rummaged through his pockets. Widstrand was ultimately found lying on the ground, bleeding from his mouth and nose.
In a Pioneer Press report, St. Paul PD spokesman Paul Paulos is quoted as saying, "An innocent man was walking down the street and brutally attacked by a group of youth... He was out for a walk and decided to go through this group and was assaulted and knocked unconscious."
Authorities believe many of the melee's participants are associated with East Side Boys gang or affiliated groups. The fight apparently began outside a nearby house party.
Last week, police, with the aid of a photograph taken during the fight, arrested 19-year-old Isaac Maiden and three juveniles in connection with the incident. Maiden has been charged with first-degree assault, first-degree aggravated robbery, and crime committed for the benefit of a gang. Authorities say more arrests are likely.
Meanwhile, Widstrand, a master control operator for a public access channel in White Bear Lake, remains in the hospital. He had two brain surgeries last week to relieve swelling, and now doctors are trying to wean him off sedatives. It's remains unclear to what extent he'll be able to recover from his injuries.
"We ask that everyone keep Ray in your thoughts during the next few days while the sedatives leave Ray's system," an update posted to Widstrand's CaringBridge page this morning says. "Ray will have a very quiet next two days as his body heals."
-- Follow Aaron Rupar on Twitter at @atrupar. Got a tip? Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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