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Details emerge in assault case

Steve "Beaver" Hlinsky of Forada holds up the ball he used to card a double-eagle on the par-4 eighth hole at the Hardwood Hills Golf Course near Alexandria last July. (Submitted photo)

Search warrants requested by the Douglas County Sheriff's Office for cell phone records in the assault case of 46-year-old Steven "Beaver' Hlinsky of Forada contain new details of the incident, including a timeline of what happened.

Hlinsky, who was found on the sidewalk outside Muddy Boot Bar and Grill in Forada in the early-morning hours of Saturday, May 5, was determined by medical personnel to have suffered "a detached retina, bleeding on the inside and outside of his brain, a fractured orbital socket ... a broken nose, a temple fracture and a skull fracture near the forehead area," according to information contained in the search warrants.

He was transported to the Douglas County Hospital and later airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital with life-threatening injuries.

Hlinsky was released May 11, but two days later Forada First Responders, North Ambulance and the sheriff's office responded to a 911 call stating that Hlinsky was unresponsive and not breathing. He was pronounced dead, and an autopsy is being performed.

Sheriff Troy Wolbersen said Wednesday that the investigation into the May 5 incident continues, and interviews are still being conducted. As of Wednesday, no arrests had been made.

According to search warrants dated Monday, May 7, which were filed in Douglas County:

Witness statements and surveillance footage from inside and outside the Muddy Boot helped deputies identify four people outside the bar at the time of the assault. The warrant identifies there were three 33-year-old men and one 40-year man.

The search warrant states that surveillance footage from inside the bar shows Hlinsky escorting out of the bar a male who, according to witnesses, had been smoking marijuana and blew marijuana smoke onto Hlinsky. When the main door is opened, the video reportedly shows the male putting Hlinsky into a headlock and another male grabbing him by the right arm. The video then shows the main door closing.

Seconds later, the video shows a friend of Hlinsky's, along with the bartender, exiting the bar. When those two open the door, the video shows one of the four men backing away from the area where Hlinsky was assaulted. The bartender returned to the bar to call 911. After the bartender is inside, the video reportedly shows another one of the four men open the door and tell the bartender to call 911.

According to the search warrant, a surveillance camera outside and across the street from the Muddy Boot shows one of the four men running to his vehicle and taking off at what appeared to be a high rate of speed, and two other men getting into a vehicle and driving off at what appeared to be a high rate of speed. The search warrant did not say anything about the whereabouts of the fourth man.

The search warrant states that deputies were told the four men came into the Muddy Boot together, and they were in the immediate area of where Hlinsky was assaulted.

Deputies believe the men have the ability to communicate with each other via cell phones, which would give them the ability to conspire with one another about the chain of events, according to the warrant. Because of this, deputies were requesting cell phone records from May 4-7.

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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