Minn. Firefighter Dies Eight Days After Assault
May 15—A farmer and firefighter from rural Alexandria has died eight days after being assaulted at a bar, authorities said.
Shortly before 1 a.m. May 5, Steven Hlinsky was found bleeding from the nose and ear on the sidewalk outside the Muddy Boot Bar in Forada, about 7 miles south of Alexandria, according to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office.
Three members of his own Fire and Rescue unit tended to him, said his daughter-in-law Kelli Hlinsky.
Hlinsky, 46, was taken to Douglas County Hospital and then was airlifted to St. Cloud Hospital. He was released on Friday, the Sheriff's Office said.
Someone at Hlinsky's home called 911 on Sunday, reporting "a medical situation," the Sheriff's Office said. Again, members of the Forada Fire and Rescue squad were called, this time with sheriff's deputies and ambulance personnel.
They found their partner "unresponsive and not breathing," the sheriff's statement said. Hlinsky was declared dead at the scene.
"It's really hard when it's part of your own team," said daughter-in-law Kelli Hlinsky.
An autopsy has been scheduled. No arrests have been made.
"Deputies continue to interview individuals who were at the bar at the time of the reported assault," the Sheriff's Office statement noted.
A CaringBridge.org page started by Kelli Hlinsky said that her father-in-law, best known as "Beaver," was out for an "average night when things turned for the worst."
Beaver Hlinsky was operating a fifth-generation grain farm south of Forada, along with carrying out his fire and rescue responsibilities.
Anyone with information about the assault is urged to contact the Sheriff's Office at 1-320-762-8151.