Man charged with assault; former UND student president on life support
A St. Michael, Minn., man has been charged in an assault outside a bar that left a former UND student body president with a severe head injury.
According to a criminal complaint, witnesses reported seeing Alexander Tuomisto knock Adam Baker unconscious with a single punch to the jaw early Sunday, causing him to hit his head on the ground.
Tuomisto, 23, is charged with first-degree assault, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $30,000 fine. He was released from jail Tuesday after posting $100,000 in bail and is due in court June 1.
Baker, 31, remains unconscious and is breathing with the help of a respirator, according to a CaringBridge site created by his supporters. He was listed in critical condition Thursday evening, said a nursing supervisor at North Memorial Medical Center in Robbinsdale, Minn.
Shorty after 1:30 a.m. Sunday, deputies responded to a report of a fight at the Corner Bar in St. Michael, a town about 30 miles northwest of Minneapolis. A deputy found Baker in the street outside the bar. He was unconscious and bleeding from his head.
According to the complaint against Tuomisto, a witness reported that two guys she didn't know "were behaving belligerently in the bar" and that "the belligerence in the bar then spilled outside."
Another witness told deputies he saw Baker outside the bar backing up and holding up one of his arms in a defensive posture before he was hit. A third witness reported seeing a man leave the scene wearing clothing that was similar to Tuomisto's. Witnesses identified the man who hit Baker as "Alex" and told deputies he lived above the bar.
The complaint says Tuomisto called a deputy at about 9 a.m. Sunday and asked "Can you come pick me up?" and the deputy thanked Tuomisto for turning himself in. The complaint states that while in a squad car, Tuomisto said to the deputy, "You probably can't tell me this but when can I tell my story?"
The deputy told Tuomisto an investigator would likely speak with him at the jail. Then, Tuomisto reportedly said, "(Expletive) one punch, I don't know how this happened."
A message left Thursday for Tuomisto's attorney, Frank Rondoni of Minneapolis, was not returned.
A second man who was arrested Sunday at the scene and booked on suspicion of aiding and abetting Tuomisto was released from jail after not being charged. It's not clear if prosecutors plan to charge him in the future. Messages left for prosecutors at the Wright County attorney's office were not returned Thursday.
The CaringBridge site says Baker, who attended high school in Stillwater, Minn., lives in Dayton, Ohio, and works for Delta Air Lines. He was about to receive his master's degree in aviation management from UND. He served as student body president during the 2003-04 school year.