Trial sought in lawsuit over bar fightThe men accused of a hate crime against a Dakota Wesleyan University basketball player say the student was the aggressor in the fight and both sides now are asking for a jury trial to settle the issue.
By: Lisa Kirkie The Daily Republic, Worthington Daily Globe
The men accused of a hate crime against a Dakota Wesleyan University basketball player say the student was the aggressor in the fight and both sides now are asking for a jury trial to settle the issue.
Ike Muoneke filed a complaint Aug. 19 in U.S. district court, alleging Gary Bussmus, 50, and his two sons — Kyle, 22, and Jonathon, 24 — were racially motivated when they allegedly assaulted Muoneke in the parking lot of a Mitchell bar.
According to court papers, Muoneke claims that in the early morning hours of April 13, Gary Bussmus “suddenly, without warning and without provocation, grabbed Muoneke from behind, spun him around, and violently struck him in the face with a closed fist.”
In the Bussmuses’ answer to Muoneke’s complaint, Gary Bussmus alleges that Muoneke was the aggressor and initiated the assault, which led to the parties engaging in mutual combat. The Bussmuses deny any malicious and intentional assault perpetrated with the intent to intimidate, harass, and injure because of racial prejudice, bias and hatred.
In their counter-claim, the Bussmuses say Muoneke was the first to “violently strike Gary Bussmus in the face with a closed fist.”
The Bussmus counter-claim paperwork says that after the initial punch from Muoneke, Gary Bussmus’ sons jumped in to defend him, at which time Muoneke’s friends assaulted and battered Gary Bussmus.
Since Gary Bussmus is alleging Muoneke is the aggressor in the incident, Bussmus is countersuing for punitive and exemplary damages along with reasonable attorney fees from Muoneke.
Muoneke denies all of Gary Bussmuses allegations, according to Muoneke’s answer to the counterclaim.
Both parties have demanded a trial by jury in federal court to decide on all facets of the issues. A jury date has not yet been scheduled.
Locally, Gary and Kyle Bussmus have been charged with simple assault, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Jonathon Bussmus has been charged with simple assault.
Muoneke, 20 at the time of the incident, was cited for underage consumption.
All three Bussmuses are expected to have a jury hear their local criminal cases jointly on Nov. 18.