A late-night confrontation between two Twin Cities men outside a Lake Mille Lacs resort left one of them dead from a punch to the head and the other jailed on numerous felony counts filed Monday, authorities said.
The clash occurred at the outset of the annual Minnesota fishing opener about 1 a.m. Saturday outside Nitti's Hunters Point Resort on the lake's eastern shore, according to the Mille Lacs County Sheriff's Office.
David Taute, 46, of Prior Lake, was fatally struck shortly after the resort's bar closed for the night, the Sheriff's Office said. Taute was first taken to a hospital in nearby Onamia, Minn., and then flown to North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, where he died about three hours later, authorities said.
David M. Stay, 44, of Brooklyn Park, who had been staying at the resort, was questioned and arrested shortly after sunrise. He was charged Monday with two counts of manslaughter and two counts of assault. Stay admitted hitting Taute, the Sheriff's Office said.
Authorities did not know whether it was the fishing opener that brought the two to the resort.
Sheriff Brent Lindgren said that the two men "knew of each other" before the confrontation.
According to the criminal complaint:
Deputies arrived to find Taute being put in an ambulance as 15 to 20 people gathered around. Two drunken men told authorities that Taute was speaking with Stay before Stay knocked out Taute with one punch. He never regained consciousness.
Stay was spotted walking along a road and told a deputy, "I knocked him out," but he had no explanation for why other than that Taute had been pushing him, authorities said.
The deputy noted that Stay smelled of alcohol but did not appear to be intoxicated.
A deputy who reviewed video surveillance from the resort said it shows the suspect throwing the punch but revealed nothing Taute did to provoke the attack.
Stay's criminal history in Minnesota includes convictions for three instances of drunken driving, assault and disorderly conduct.