Bloomington Hockey Coach Dies After Social Distancing Dispute
Where do you even begin with a story as tragic and senseless as this? Bloomington Jefferson High School Coach Michael G. Ryan, 48, was in a fatal altercation Saturday night outside of a St. Paul bar all over a social distancing dispute that had started earlier in the men's bathroom.
Ryan Whisler, 44, has been charged with second-degree murder. He turned himself into authorities on Sunday, April 18.
According to StarTribune.com, the incident took place at Hebie's On The Park in St. Paul. The complaint states that earlier in the night, Whisler "punched a hole into cellophane that was put in place over a urinal to encourage social distancing, then took a cellphone video himself urinating into it."
Michael Ryan called Whisler out for his behavior as they were leaving the bar, which initially lead to a verbal confrontation on the bar's front steps which appeared to be cooling down as the men and their friends were outside of the establishment.
However, that didn't last as Whisler reportedly pulled Ryan's mask from his face and grabbed his shirt, which led to a tussle that friends attempted to break up. Whisler ultimately punched Ryan and caused him fall backward and hit his head on the concrete at the bottom of the stairs. He was transported to a local hospital and diagnosed with a brain injury. He died from his injuries Sunday.
KSTP-TV reported on the story, while also capturing community reaction.
Such a tragic turn of events over something that is far too common, wild overreactions from basic social distancing recommendations during a pandemic. From customers berating and disrespecting hourly employees over simple policies that stores have every right to enforce, to physical violence that can end in tragedy.
If people don't like the policies a business has in place, they should just go somewhere else. If someone opposed to the policy goes there anyway and makes a point to act out and berate people about it, they are far from being some hero for rights or freedom. They're just an ass looking for attention.
I'm guessing alcohol was involved with this latest story (taking cellphone video of yourself peeing in a public bathroom is something a grown man isn't likely to do unless they're impaired), and the second-degree murder charge does state that Whisler caused Ryan's death without intent. However, Michael G. Ryan did die from that chain of events and now two families are forever changed.
Michael Ryan leaves behind a wife and two daughters and a Bloomington community and hockey program very much in mourning.
Upon posting the above on Twitter, the team and community has received an outpouring of support, including a tweet from the Minnesota Wild.
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