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Decorated Vietnam vet dies after being brutally assaulted by teenager at Minnesota park, police say
Image Source: KSTP-TV YouTube video screenshot composite

Decorated Vietnam vet dies after being brutally assaulted by teenager at Minnesota park, police say

Minnesota officials are investigating the death of a decorated Vietnam War Marine veteran after he was beaten by a teenager at a park in front of his wife.

St. Paul Police said they were called to the Harriet Island Regional Park on Jan. 28 after 5 p.m. by a woman who said her husband had been punched in the face.

When they arrived, they found 76-year-old Thomas Dunne injured from a fight and bleeding from his eye.

Dunne explained what happened before he was transported to a hospital. Weeks later, the veteran died after a prolonged stay at the hospital.

He told police that he and his wife were driving at the park when he spotted a young man urinating in public. He stopped to take a photograph as evidence, but he was confronted by the man and two others. They tried to take away his phone, and then one of the men punched him.

Police said that the injury was serious enough that the man would not stop bleeding.

They were also able to identify the three males and charged one of them, a 17-year-old, with first-degree assault.

St. Paul Police Sgt. Mike Ernster said it may be weeks before the Ramsey County medical examiner makes a definite finding on Dunne's exact cause of death. Depending on the results, the charges against the teenager might be upgraded.

"The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office will review any new evidence presented by law enforcement to consider additional charges," said a spokesperson with the attorney's office.

Dunne served two tours in Vietnam and more than 20 years with the U.S. Army and Army Reserve. He was given the Legion of Merit award as part of his service.

His wife, Heather Broderick, told KSTP-TV that he had an operation on his eyeball that lasted three and a half hours from the assault. She said that she thought maybe he would have to live without an eye.

Although he was released from the hospital, complications forced him to return to the hospital the next day, and he was held there until he died on Feb. 23.

"It's just a terrible loss. A terrible loss," said Broderick.

Prosecutors are also considering a petition to have the teen go to trial as an adult.

Here's a news report about the incident:

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Carlos Garcia

Carlos Garcia

Staff Writer

Carlos Garcia is a staff writer for Blaze News. You can reach him at cgarcia@blazemedia.com.