Fergus Falls streaker won't face felony charge
A streaker whose one-man show upstaged the homecoming band at a high school football game in Fergus Falls, Minn., will not face felony charges, a prosecutor said Monday.
The runner made his appearance about 8:20 p.m. Friday, sprinting the length of the Fergus Falls High School football field before disappearing into some woods north of the school, where he hid for 30 minutes before revealing himself to officers.
"He was cold," Fergus Falls Police Capt. Steve Adams said, referring to the 15-year-old suspect who was wearing only a hat, a mask, and shoes and socks.
The youth was taken to a juvenile detention center in Moorhead, where he was held until being released on Monday, according to Adams, who said Friday's incident "was the talk of the town."
Otter Tail County Attorney David Hauser, who was at the game and saw what happened, said he couldn't release many details because of the suspect's age.
Without confirming what the youth may be charged with, Hauser said his office considered several possibilities, including disorderly conduct and gross misdemeanor indecent exposure.
The latter charge is applicable, he said, because young children were present.
A felony charge of indecent exposure, which could require sex offender registration, is not being considered, Hauser said.
Indecent exposure can be a felony if there is a prior conviction for criminal sexual conduct.
High School Principal Dean Monke expects the district to take disciplinary action against the student, but hasn't decided on the exact punishment.
"This incident is still under investigation and pending," he said, adding that when the district makes a decision, it will only discuss the punishment "in very general terms" to protect the student's privacy.
Both Adams and Hauser said they could not remember dealing with other cases of streaking, which became something of a craze in the 1970s.
Monke said he felt the incident, the first of its kind in his 12 years with the district, marred a jubilant homecoming game.
"We'd rather not have this kind of distraction," he said. "We'd rather let the music halftime show and the game speak for themselves."
By Monday, someone had set up a special page on the social networking Web site Facebook commemorating Friday's expose.
It contains comments from students and a photo of the incident, which stole the spotlight from the Fergus Falls football team. Fergus Falls extended its winning streak Friday to six games, leaving it undefeated.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Dave Olson at (701) 241-5555. Reporter Mila Koumpilova contributed to this report.