MENOMONIE — A Minnesota man was charged Thursday in the beating death of a UW-Stout student from Saudi Arabia in downtown Menomonie last October.
Cullen M. Osburn, 27, 3423 Washburn Ave. N., Minneapolis, was charged in Dunn County with felony murder and battery for the death of Hussain Saeed Alnahdi, 24, on Oct. 30 in Menomonie.
Dunn County District Attorney Andrea Nodolf said Osburn, who was not a UW-Stout student, has been arrested in Minnesota and will need to be extradited.
According to the criminal complaint:
Menomonie police were called to a fight in front of Toppers Pizza, 406 Main St. E., and found Alnahdi unconscious and bleeding from the nose and mouth. He was flown to Mayo Clinic Health System in Eau Claire, where he died Oct. 31 due to a traumatic brain injury.
Osburn’s sister, Mariah Hughes, told police she was buying pizza when she heard something hit the window of the business and realized a fight had occurred following an argument between Osburn and Alnahdi.
Osburn told his sister that Alnahdi had grabbed the chain around Osburn’s neck, and Osburn said he may have pushed Alnahdi backward.
A witness, William Hall, a friend of Osburn’s, said Osburn’s brother Deonte Hughes told him that Osburn struck Alnahdi twice in the face in rapid succession. Deonte Hughes pulled Osburn off Alnahdi, and Osburn left the scene.
Deonte Hughes told police he was inside the restaurant when he saw Osburn get grabbed by two men outside. Osburn then was being pushed by Alnahdi and another man. Osburn swung his fists toward Alnahdi after Alnahdi ripped the chain off Osburn’s neck.
However, another witness reported a different scene.
Evan Walters, a friend of Alnahdi, told police he saw Alnahdi smoking a cigarette outside Toppers and stopped to talk to him. They were approached by a man who began arguing with Alnahdi and yelling at the Saudi native. Walters was not sure what precipitated the confrontation.
Walters did not see Alnahdi get hit but saw him fall to the ground, with blood coming from his mouth and nose.
Nina Simonette, who was near Toppers at the time of the altercation, saw Alnahdi put his hands in the air as if to indicate he didn’t want a problem with the other man. The two men started yelling at each other, and she saw the other man strike Alnahdi. She believed the man tried to hit Alnahdi a second time and that Alnahdi hit his head on the side of the building when he fell.
When police arrived outside the restaurant, Walters and Hall were holding Alnahdi in a seated position on the ground, supporting his neck and keeping pressure on his wound with napkins.
Osburn contacted police on Nov. 2 and said he was scared and wanted to fully cooperate, but wanted to have an attorney with him when he spoke with police. He was adamant the altercation had nothing to do with anybody’s race. He contacted police again on Nov. 3 and said he would be in contact Nov. 4 to schedule an interview but did not. When police tried to call him, his phone number was disconnected.
An unnamed 17-year-old witness told police that he went to Kwik Trip after a fraternity party, where a man approached him and said “he had just punched somebody who was bleeding out.” The man said he needed a ride to the UW-Stout campus, and the witness told him he had no idea where the campus was.
“The man stated that he’d just have to (expletive) punch me too,” the witness told police.
Police obtained surveillance video from the Kwik Trip, 1213 S. Broadway St., and saw Osburn. They also obtained a receipt showing Osburn used his credit or debit card to buy a pack of cigarettes.
Alnahdi, who came to UW-Stout from Saudi Arabia to study English as a second language, was a junior majoring in business administration.
Alnahdi and his roommates were drinking at their home until about 1 a.m. Oct. 30 and then decided to go to the local bars.
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