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Beatings remain unsolved

It happened at two different locations. Both times the suspects got away. The first, Friday at 2:40 a.m., two men in their early 20s were found knocked out after a brawl in front of Mel's Midtowner bar on Main Street. Both victims were treated by River Falls paramedics but wouldn't go to the hospital for their head injuries. They'd been drinking and declined to answer questions about their attackers.

Witnesses, however, described the three assailants as two Hispanic males and a black man. One suspect was said to be 6 feet, 280 pounds, wearing white bandana, sleeveless striped shirt, with tattoos up and down both arms. Another suspect also wore a white bandana and sleeveless shirt.

The other beating took place near the intersection of Pierce Street and Oak Knoll Avenue after 3 a.m. Saturday. Again, the victims were two young men. The white male suspects drove a Honda Civic. They repeatedly kept driving by and yelling at the young men as they walked home. Then they jumped out of the car and attacked. One of the victims was badly injured after being knocked to the ground and kicked. He was covered in blood and had passed out.

Also during the past week, River Falls police:

--Arrested a 53-year-old River Falls woman for drunk-driving-5th offense (a felony), driving without a license, and having open intoxicants in her car last week Tuesday night. The woman, unhurt, and her car were found at the bottom of the deep ditch just off North Main Street and off Paulson Road. She had been coming from St. Paul. She couldn't explain how she ended up in the ditch. She refused field sobriety tests and, later, giving a blood sample at the hospital. The hospital procedure was carried out anyway. The woman was then taken to county jail in Hudson.

--Arrested a 24-year-old River Falls man for drunk driving and hit and run at 12:30 a.m. Sunday at South Wasson Lane near East Division Street. The man lost his bumper in the alleged hit-and-run collision with a parked vehicle. Police tracked him to his apartment. His girlfriend said he'd come home, gotten sick and gone to bed. When questioned by officers, the man said he'd been out drinking with friends but had walked home. He said someone must have broken into and used his car. Based on other evidence, police didn't buy his story. The man was arrested, booked, given fines totaling more than $900 and taken to county jail in Ellsworth.

--Arrested a Minnesota man with the same name and initial as the famous Civil War Confederate general for disorderly conduct at Boomer's Bar downtown at 1:30 a.m. Saturday. When officers arrived the suspect was being forced out the front door by the bar's owner who had the man in a headlock. He was quickly handcuffed. Witnesses said the man had tossed his drink into a bartender's face and then punched and fought with several staff members and bouncers. A big man, he was able to wrestle one to the floor. At the police station he wanted to give his side of the story. After being read his Miranda warning, he refused to talk. He was handed a $177 fine and let go.

--Investigated without success the vandalism to a couple of vehicles owned by newly crowned members of the River Falls Ambassadors Friday. The victims were two 16-year-old local girls. Dressed in their gowns, they were mingling downtown during River Falls Days, introducing themselves and thanking business sponsors. Their vehicles were parked in the lot by Bo Jon's Flowers. While they were away, someone scratched up the vehicles. On one, the deep scratch marks formed the words of ugly name calling.

--Investigated another vandalism when a passing car in the 600 block of South Main Street was hit by a beer bottle late Saturday afternoon. The victim was a woman driver from Alma Center. She had a passenger, and her window on that side was shattered. Luckily, nobody was hurt. A house party at 684 S. Main St. was going on, and there were empty bottles and cans in the front yard. No one inside the house would admit to throwing a bottle at a passing car or to knowing anything about it.

For more, please read Police Beat in the July 14 print edition of the River Falls Journal.