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Gordon Van Hassel, Douglas, charged with assaulting 9-year-old

Gordon Van Hassel, 68, Douglas, is accused of cursing at and throwing rocks at a group of children who had hit him with a snowball on Friday in Douglas and then running at a 9-year-old boy, first pushing him into a truck and then smashing his face into the ground.

Van Hassel is charged in district court in Minot with Class B felony aggravated assault of a victim under the age of 12.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed with the court, Van Hassel had walked his dog by a group of children having a snowball fight in Douglas and retaliated when he was hit by the snowball. Van Hassel claimed the kids had been harassing him and he chased them when they ran away from him, caught the 9-year-old boy and pushed him to the ground.

The boy passed out during the attack and told authorities he was afraid for his life, according to the affidavit. Another adult put him on a sled and pulled him towards his home. The boy couldn’t walk on his left leg and was in pain when he was interviewed by the Ward County Sheriff’s deputy. The boy’s grandfather, who was babysitting for him, took him to the Trinity Hospital emergency room in Minot. The boy had liquid in his abdomen, a knot on the right side of his forehead and a knot on the left side of his head and swelling under his right eye.

Van Hassel is being held at the Ward County Jail on the charge.

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