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Another assault reported outside a downtown Williston bar

WILLISTON -- Bryan Cucullu remembers kneeling beside his friend outside K and G's No Place bar as blood flowed from his ear. Cucullu, of Mississippi, said he stayed with his friend, Joshua Clement, 29, of Williston, while two off-duty paramedics ...

WILLISTON - Bryan Cucullu remembers kneeling beside his friend outside K and G’s No Place bar as blood flowed from his ear.
Cucullu, of Mississippi, said he stayed with his friend, Joshua Clement, 29, of Williston, while two off-duty paramedics came to Clement’s aid until Williston police arrived, followed by emergency responders.
The aggravated assault took place shortly after midnight Sept. 14, Detective David Peterson said Tuesday. Police are still looking for an unknown man wearing a “distinct striped shirt,” who was caught on video surveillance.
Clement was lucky, unlike 25-year-old Dean Niederklopfer, a victim of last month’s fatal beating in front of the nearby Whispers strip club in downtown Williston. Peterson said
Clement is in stable condition at a Minot hospital.
Cucullu said he and Clement, both employees of Knife River Corp., a mining and aggregate subsidiary of MDU Resources Group, were standing outside the bar, smoking and heading toward their truck in a nearby parking lot.
“Two guys were fighting outside in front - probably happens every night,” he said.
Clement, according to Cucullu, tried to break up the fight enlisting the help of another friend.
Cucullu said Clement knew one of the men who was fighting.
A beer bottle shattered, followed by a collective gasp, and then “a lot of people started pushing and shoving,” Cucullu said.
Peterson said Clement was “pushed off the sidewalk, striking his head on forms and concrete” near the bar.
Currently, the downtown area is undergoing an $8.5 million Main Street reconstruction project to replace storm drains, sewer, water, sidewalks, landscaping and signal lights.
Businesses and residents have had to weather the removal of sidewalks, construction and limited access to sections of downtown. Orange plastic safety fences serve as temporary barriers to keep people safe, however, they only work if left in place.
Mick Flugel, a spokesman for Knife River, the chief contractor on the project, said workers put away hand tools at the end of each work day, but with “form work you’re going to have concrete forms and board work.”
Flugel said he’s constantly having to restore the safety fences due to people trying to make shortcuts to access businesses along Main Street. He said it’s especially challenging to keep the fencing intact on the block where the strip clubs are located.
“I have to do down there and rebuild it because they’re bars on both sides of the street. They don’t go around the safety fence, they go through it. They tear down the fence and go across the road,” Flugel said.
Cucullu said it was hard to understand Clement when they talked on Sept. 20. Clement told him he had had a concussion and a skull fracture, and he wanted to know what happened that night in front of K and G’s No Place bar.
Peterson said police are deploying foot patrols on south Main Street. This last weekend saw several arrests and an attempted assault on an officer.
“Anytime we have one assault leading to a fatal assault and one assault leading to very serious injuries, it’s concerning to law enforcement,” Peterson said. “We have made more of a presence on south Main, and we’re working with city officials to come up with other solutions to issues we’re having on south Main.”
He said the department is limited by its call volume, which has increased with the influx of workers to the Oil Patch city. The “balancing act” requires serving the community and being fiscally responsible in the face of unprecedented demands on law enforcement.
Cucullu said seeing Clement get hurt was upsetting - that it has provided a lesson.
“I was pretty upset about my friend being hurt, thinking it could happen to any of us. … I don’t go to these bars around here anymore. They’re too crazy,” Cucullu said.
Police are offering a Crimestoppers reward to anyone with information on the man seen on surveillance. Call police at 701-572-8477.

Related Topics: CRIME
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