Man, 68, arrested for allegedly beating 9-year-old boy unconscious after getting hit with a snowball

Crime and Public Safety

North Dakota man accused of beating boy over snowball

A person wearing black gloves holds a snowball in their hands. (Photo by Clive Rose/Getty Images)

DOUGLAS, N.D. — A North Dakota man was arrested on suspicion of beating a 9-year-old boy unconscious after the man was hit with a snowball as he walked his dog.

The incident happened on Friday in Douglas, according to the Washington Post.
 
Gordon Van Hassel was reportedly walking his dog while a 9-year-old boy and his siblings were having a snowball fight near a church. At one point, Van Hassel was allegedly hit with a snowball.
 
According to court documents, Van Hassel started throwing rocks at the children. He then allegedly ran toward the young boy, pushing him into a truck and down to the ground.
 
Court documents stated that Van Hassel then allegedly smashed the child’s face into the ground multiple times and at one point, the boy lost consciousness. The boy was then allegedly kicked 10 to 20 times while he laid face down in the snow, according to the Post.
 
The other children who were playing with the boy ran away, according to court documents.
 
After the alleged assault, a person found the boy and called 911. The good Samaritan then put the boy on a sled because he couldn’t stand up and took the child to his grandfather’s house.
 
When deputies arrived at the home, the boy refused medical care, but his grandfather later took him to the hospital.
 
Court documents said that the boy had liquid in his abdomen, a knot on the right side of his head, a lump on the left side of his head and swelling under his right eye.
 
That same day, Ward County sheriff’s deputies headed to Van Hassel’s home. According to the Post, Van Hassel knew why the deputies were at his house and confirmed some of the details of the alleged assault.
 
He was arrested and later charged with aggravated assault of a victim under 12, according to the Post.

Van Hassel could face up to 10 years in prison and a fine up to $20,000 if found guilty of the charges.
 
This story was reported from Los Angeles.

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