A St. Cloud State University wrestler is facing a felony charge after allegedly repeatedly hitting another student and causing multiple fractures to the student's nasal bone and sinus walls.
Burnsville resident Ezayah M. Gomez Oropeza, 20, was charged with third-degree assault Thursday in Stearns County District Court in relation to the incident, which occurred in the early morning hours of Saturday, Sept. 18.
On Tuesday, police arrested Gomez Oropeza. University officials had previously tweeted they were aware of an off-campus incident and said the student had been suspended from the team. On Friday, a university spokeswoman said the university is continuing to monitor the incident.
"In accordance with university policies and procedures for student conduct violations, Mr. Gomez Oropeza continues to be restricted from participating in St. Cloud State University athletics," Kathryn Kloby said.
The injured man's parents identified him as Chad Waldrop, 20, in a fundraising page and online petition demanding justice for their son.
According to court documents, a woman called 911 to report an unconscious man in the 700 block of 7th Avenue S. Responding officers found Waldrop inside a home bleeding heavily.
Officers made contact with Oropeza Gomez and a woman walking near the area and Oropeza Gomez admitted he "knocked him out" after Waldrop yelled at them and "continued to come after them," documents state.
Officers briefly detained Oropeza Gomez but later released him pending further investigation.
Waldrop told police he returned home in the early morning hours and heard a woman screaming. When he asked if everything was OK, he was told to mind his own business. He turned around to go back inside and heard footsteps "charging towards him," court documents state.
A witness told police they saw Oropeza Gomez yelling at the woman and hitting a fence just before Waldrop appeared. Video shows Waldrop take about 10 steps when Oropeza Gomez "begins to sprint toward [Waldrop]." Oropeza Gomez "made contact with him, lifting him off the ground and tackling [Waldrop] to the ground," according to court documents.
Waldrop will likely have to undergo multiple reconstructive surgeries, documents state.
Jenny Berg • 612-673-7299