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Attacker claims he was goaded by racial slur

River Falls police arrested a 23-year-old Grantsburg man for substantial battery and a break-in after 2:30 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 30, on South Main Street. The male suspect taken into custody is black. He claimed another man followed him from behind as he was walking and taunted him with a racial slur.

The suspect, wearing a Chicago Bears T-shirt, confronted the other man, who is white. He allegedly punched him, picked him up and slammed him to the ground before walking away. This occurred near the intersection of Main Street and Cascade Avenue.

The so-called victim was badly hurt and briefly knocked unconscious. He was later found to have a skull fracture and bleeding in the brain. He was eventually taken to Regions Hospital in St. Paul.

Officers caught up with the Grantsburg man hiding behind a garage service door in the 600 block of South Main Street. The door had been busted open and was damaged.

The man was taken without incident to county jail in Ellsworth.

Police also:

--Arrested a 22-year-old Hudson man for battery at Boomer's Bar, 106 N. Main St., at 2:25 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 29. A 25-year-old Baldwin woman there claimed she was dancing in the bar and that the suspect kept bumping her and then punched her in the face. Other witnesses said the man was deliberately bumping other dancers while jumping up and down. Another man on the dance floor said that he, too, had been hit -- in the eye -- by the gyrating, flailing suspect.

--Arrested three local males, ages 15, 17 and 22, for using marijuana and having drug paraphernalia in their car while driving on North Main Street Friday afternoon, Sept. 28.

An off-duty officer claimed to see the three, including the 17-year-old driver, toking from a pot pipe and blowing smoke out the windows. The car was said to reek of marijuana but it took awhile to find some of the evidence.

The 22-year-old man said he'd eaten the marijuana cigarette after realizing the cops were on to them.

Later, however, police allegedly found a small stash of marijuana in the man's sock and another bag of it stuffed down the front of his gym shorts.

Also, when the 15-year-old took off his left shoe, there, allegedly, was a glass pipe with burned marijuana residue. The 15-year-old said he was a minor and would only get a juvenile-court referral -- and that's what he got in the end.

The 17-year-old driver was given a $731 municipal fine while the 22-year-old got a $177 fine.

There's more in Police Beat in the Oct 3 print edition of the River Falls Journal.