The Free Press, Mankato, MN

April 16, 2013

Woman being sued for assault now faces criminal charges

By Dan Nienaber
Free Press Staff Writer

MANKATO —  A woman who was already being sued for injuries from an alleged January assault outside a downtown Mankato bar is now facing criminal charges for the same incident.

When the attorney in the civil case, Michael Padden of Lake Elmo, filed the lawsuit against 37-year-old Tekeshia Michelle Klyce in March, he said he was concerned no criminal charges had been filed at that point.

 The assault allegedly happened at about 2:15 a.m. Jan. 13. The lawsuit was filed March 8, nearly two months after the incident, and the criminal charges were filed Monday, about three months after Tammy Burger of Mankato reported she was attacked by Klyce.

A Mankato police officer was on patrol downtown when he saw Burger squatting down in front of the Pub 500 bar. Burger was holding her midsection and crying, officer Bill Reinbold reported. Burger told Reinbold she had been assaulted in front to the Red Sky Lounge by women related to a man she knew, but she didn’t know the names of the women, according to a criminal complaint filed against Klyce.

Reinbold went to the Red Sky to find out if there was surveillance video of the incident. A manager brought him to the office to watch video of the front sidewalk along Front Street.

“The video clearly showed (Burger) inside of the bar and upset about something,” the complaint said. “Burger then is removed from the bar by staff.”

After Burger was taken outside, she could be seen walking up to a group of people, then walking away. A woman, who Reinbold identified as Klyce, follows Burger, tackled her and started punching her repeatedly, the complaint said. A group then formed around Burger and others joined Klyce in the assault, Reinbold reported. Klyce also uses the first name Latisa.

Reinbold didn’t take the surveillance recording the night of the incident. He did return to the bar three days later to get the recording but was told it was too late. Reinbold was told Red Sky’s video system saves recording for four days and the recording he was looking for had been erased, the complaint said.

When Padden was in the process of filing his lawsuit in March, he said he didn’t understand why it was taking so long for authorities to file charges against Klyce. The incident was initially processed as a misdemeanor assault and sent to the city attorney’s office Feb. 22, according to police records.

City Attorney Eileen Wells said in late March her office never received the reports. She later learned the case had been sent to the Blue Earth County attorney’s office to be considered for more serious charges. Assistant Blue Earth County Attorney Mike Hanson charged Klyce with third-degree assault, a felony, and fifth-degree assault, a misdemeanor, on Monday.

Padden said he doesn’t understand why Klyce wasn’t arrested after the assault, especially when there was video evidence. He said Burger and other witnesses told him Reinbold wanted to make an arrest. Police reports about the incident aren’t available to the public at this point because charges are pending against Klyce.

“I just think it’s really disturbing,” Padden said. “One of the officers really wanted to go after them, but it sounds like something happened. They were really pressuring my client to go on the record. On the day it happened, they wanted her to press charges.”

Padden’s lawsuit claims Burger received physical and emotional injuries as a result of the alleged assault. Burger had to be treated at a hospital for her injuries and has not been able to work, resulting in damages in excess of $50,000, according to the civil complaint.

Klyce is scheduled to make her first appearance for the criminal charges May 9.