Man sues in 2013 Brookings beating that caused brain trauma
SIOUX FALLS (AP) — A man left unconscious and bleeding on a stranger's kitchen floor after a pub crawl in Brookings last year is suing the man who punched him, the men who helped drag him into the house and the roommates who failed to call for help.
Neil Hedeen, 24, sustained permanent brain trauma as a result of the attack in March. He is seeking unspecified damages.
Authorities say Hedeen was drunk when he wandered into the rented home of three South Dakota State University students and fell asleep in the entryway on the night of March 23, according to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader says.
Three men visiting the students — Aaron Crips, Mike Mailey and Dustin Welbig — allegedly threw Hedeen out of the house. After a brief altercation in which Hedeen threatened the men with a shovel, Mailey punched the victim, which knocked him out and caused him to hit his head on the concrete.
Instead of calling police, the three men brought Hedeen back into the house and left him on the kitchen floor, where he was bleeding from the ears. The men wrote a note on a pizza box telling Hedeen he had fallen on the ice.
The girlfriend of one of the roommates found Hedeen the following morning and called 911.
The suit said the three roommates — Evan Leeben, Garrett Kommes and Tyler Morris —are liable for failing to call authorities.
Mailey was convicted of aggravated assault and sentenced to two years in prison. Judge Greg Stoltenburg told Mailey he was shocked by the way he and his friends treated Hedeen.
"You left him — you hit him, he dropped to the ground, you dragged him over the roadway, over concrete, snow, up some wooden steps, and threw him on the kitchen floor while he is bleeding out his ear and unconscious," the judge said. "And then you and your friends sat around for four hours watching him. Four hours, and you did nothing. If it was a dog, you would have called someone or provided treatment."
Lawyers for the Hedeen family declined to comment on the lawsuit. The defendants did not respond for requests for comment.