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Three males charged for their roles in Rice Park melee

WILLMAR -- Three young men made their first court appearances Tuesday on riot, assault and disorderly conduct charges for their alleged roles in a Sunday evening melee at Rice Park in Willmar.

Mahad Tahlil

WILLMAR -- Three young men made their first court appearances Tuesday on riot, assault and disorderly conduct charges for their alleged roles in a Sunday evening melee at Rice Park in Willmar.

Robert Leal, 20, and Ismail Noor Abdi, 22, both of Willmar, both face a gross misdemeanor for third-degree riot plus misdemeanors for fourth-degree assault and disorderly conduct. Leal also faces a charge for underage consumption of alcohol. Mahad Muhidin Tahlil, 19, of Willmar, faces three misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct, presence at an unlawful assembly and obstruction of the legal process.

Tahlil's bail was set at $2,000. His next appearance is Oct. 25. Unconditional bail was set at $6,000 for both Leal and Abdi. Leal's next appearance is Oct. 10 and Abdi makes his next appearance on Oct. 3.

All three appeared Tuesday before District Judge Michael J. Thompson in Kandiyohi County District Court.

A fourth individual, a 16-year-old Willmar male, also was arrested. Because he is a juvenile, any charges below felony level filed against the teen are not public information.

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Willmar police, Kandiyohi County sheriff's deputies and Minnesota State Patrol troopers were called around 6:30 p.m. Sunday to disperse the crowd gathered at Rice Park.

According to the complaints and police reports filed in the three cases, the incident began when a group of girls surrounded a 14-year-old girl and one girl from the group assaulted the 14-year-old girl by slapping, hitting and kicking her. A young male playing in a soccer game at the park intervened during the assault and helped the 14-year-old girl get away from the group of girls. The 14-year-old was taken to a nearby house to hide until police arrived.

When the young man was returning to the park, Leal allegedly began fighting with him and hit him, causing a bloody lip.

That's when the first Willmar Police Department officer, who was on routine patrol, stopped and attempted to stop the men from fighting and gain control of the situation. While the officer was talking with Leal, another fight broke out between Abdi and the 16-year-old juvenile who was arrested. Other individuals were getting involved in the fight, but retreated when the officer and a sheriff's deputy approached them.

The officers then called for every available officer, getting city officers, deputies and troopers to come and disperse the crowd from the park, as between 80 and 100 people were getting into fights and yelling and screaming to cheer on the fighting.

One of the officers sprayed Mace into the crowd in an attempt to disperse the crowd. While officers were clearing people from the park, Tahlil was arrested. He allegedly walked away from the officers, wouldn't leave, said he didn't understand the officer, but screamed derogatory names at the officer who was attempting to handcuff him.

Related Topics: CRIME
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