MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 21-year-old man has been charged in an assault near the Minnesota State Fair that left a 48-year-old man fighting for his life.
The incident happened on Sept. 1 near the area of Albert Street and Breda Avenue in St. Paul.
Mike Donnelly, 48, was found beaten at the intersection that evening after police were called. He was taken to Regions Hospital in critical condition. Doctors said he had bleeding and swelling on the brain.
Donnelly underwent surgery to relieve the swelling, undergoing a craniectomy for the pressure. Investigators said he ended up developing an infection which then caused him to be hospitalized for another five days. He still has to wear a protective helmet because of portions of his skull that haven’t been replaced yet.
Investigators said he still hasn’t been back to work.
According to the criminal complaint, the incident happened after Donnelly and his friends walked past a house porch where multiple people were gathered. Witnesses said that Donnelly’s group was harassed and called gay slurs by members of the group gathered at the house.
The criminal complaint identifies Gunner McClellan as the person responsible for Donnelly’s injuries, and charges him with first-degree assault. He told investigators that someone in Donnelly’s group called them a slur first.
A witness interviewed by police said that McClellan and another man at the scene, not identified by name, were known to pick fights at bars.
The other, unnamed man also told police McClellan, in the incident, was “pretty jacked up and then like all mad and stuff,” and McClellan kicked over a trash can in the alley out of frustration.
If convicted, McClellan faces 20 years in prison and/or a $30,000 fine.