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Charges dismissed against man who hit teen with bat

WILLMAR -- Three felony charges against a Willmar man accused of hitting a 16-year-old boy in the head with a baseball bat during a fight have been dismissed in Kandiyohi County District Court.

The charges, for second-, third- and fifth-degree assault, against Daniel Loera, 26, were dismissed Dec. 28 by the county attorney's office.

The reason given in the dismissal was recantation and an uncooperative victim and witnesses.

According to court documents, the teen identified Loera by the large gang tattoo on the back of his head and by his mug shot.

The charges were filed after Willmar police were called on Sept. 26 to a large fight at Regency Estates West.

The officers received a report that there had been baseball bats and bottles used in the fight and that an unconscious male had been loaded into a van and taken from the area.

A man reported that the victim had an altercation with a Hispanic male, who had hit the youth with a metal bar, which was later determined to be a baseball bat. Officers located the victim at Rice Memorial Hospital's emergency room.

He had a 2-inch gash above his eye, which was swollen shut, a swollen nose and a large "goose egg" injury on the back of his skull.

Witnesses told police that the person who hit the teen had a nickname of "Playboy" and was a Sur 13 gang member.

Information from local gang enforcement team officers connected the nickname to Loera, who has a large "13" tattooed on the back of his head.

In October, one of the witnesses picked Loera's photo in a photo lineup. The victim also picked Loera, noting that he wasn't completely sure it was his attacker, but that he'd know the man for sure if he had a "13" tattooed on the back of his head. Previous booking photos of Loera have recorded the gang tattoo on his head.

Gretchen Schlosser

Gretchen Schlosser is the public safety reporter, and writes about agriculture occasionally, for the West Central Tribune. She's been with the Tribune since 2006 and has 17 years of experience working in news, media and communications. 

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