Skip to main content
Publish date:

Charges: Huskies wrestler attacked student-athlete who went to check on woman screaming

The attack left the victim with multiple facial fractures.
EZAYAH MARCELL GOMEZ OROPEZA - booking photo Stearns Co jail

A St. Cloud State wrestler is accused of assaulting another Huskies student-athlete who'd come outside to check on things after hearing a woman scream.

Ezayah Gomez-Oropeza, 20, was charged Thursday with third-degree assault causing substantial bodily harm. The charges allege the Burnsville native picked up the victim — identified by family as 20-year-old Chadwick Waldrop — threw him to the ground, then punched him even after he'd fallen unconscious.

The attack happened in the early hours of Sept. 18, outside of Waldrop's residence on the 700 block of 8th Street South in St. Cloud. Witness accounts and surveillance video suggest Gomez-Oropeza had been arguing with a 20-year-old woman on the sidewalk nearby, with the wrestler attacking Waldrop after he came out to see what was going on, according to the charges.

Waldrop, a swimmer for the Huskies, suffered numerous facial fractures, with an emergency room doctor describing his face as a "jigsaw puzzle," according to a GoFundMe. He will have to undergo reconstructive surgeries, the first of which was done this week to realign his jaw. He'll be on a liquid diet, as "several metal bars" are currently affixed to his upper and lower gums. 

Gomez-Oropeza is listed as a 285-pound sophomore from Burnsville, who went to Rosemount High School. The university, prior to criminal charges being filed, said the student believed to have been involved was suspended from the team pending an investigation.

He made his first court appearance Thursday. An omnibus hearing is set for Dec. 16 at 11 a.m.

According to the criminal complaint:

Waldrop told investigators he'd arrived home and heard a woman scream. He went outside to check and asked, loudly, if everything was all right. "Mind your own f------ business," Gomez-Oropeza told him. He then turned around, then heard footsteps and was tackled before falling unconscious.

Witness accounts and surveillance video from a nearby building provide additional details.  

A witness said they'd been awake in their bedroom at the time and looked out the window after hearing a woman yell. They said Gomez-Oropeza was hitting a fence and looked angry. They then saw Waldrop emerge from his residence and approach Gomez-Oropeza and his female colleague, though not in a "confrontational" manner. The witness then watched Gomez-Oropeza punch Waldrop three or four times, including after he was on the ground.

Surveillance video shows the assault lasted about 5 seconds, with Gomez-Oropeza lifting Waldrop from the sidewalk then throwing him to the ground before punching him.

The woman Gomez-Oropeza had been with yelled, "Why would you do that?" Surveillance video, which corroborates the witness' account, then shows the woman immediately go to help Waldrop.

After the attack, Gomez-Oropeza knocked on the door where Waldrop lived, said he'd "knocked out" their friend. Then he carried Waldrop to the door. Waldrop's roommates say he stumbled in, bloody and incoherent.

When officers arrived, he was reluctant to seek medical care, but eventually relented. 

Officers who responded to the scene found Gomez-Oropeza and the 20-year-old woman walking nearby. He initially said nothing happened, but eventually admitted to punching Waldrop, claiming it was self-defense after Waldrop continued to come after him. Gomez-Oropeza said he "did not have a knife, did not have a gun, so I hit him."

He was arrested Tuesday, Sept. 28, after investigators had obtained witness accounts and the surveillance video.

Sign up: Subscribe to our BREAKING NEWS newsletters

Next Up

Timothy William Tuit

2 people plead guilty in fatal Dakota County home invasion

Two others charged in the incident will go to trial next year.

south lake minnetonka police department

25-year-old arrested after multi-city police chase in western suburbs

Police were called for a welfare check but learned it was a domestic violence incident.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 8.34.54 AM

After getting COVID, Harrison Smith still not considering vaccine

The Vikings safety says he doesn't plan on getting vaccinated.


First omicron variant COVID case detected in MN

The individual is an adult male who lives in Hennepin County and had recently traveled.

wright county Sheriff Sean Deringer

Minnesota sheriff bashes MPD, 'disgusted' by officers' actions

The sheriff said he will no longer defend the Minneapolis Police Department.

Screen Shot 2021-12-02 at 7.59.52 AM

More than 2 years after announcing, Duck Donuts finally opens at MOA

The grand opening of the new location took place Wednesday.

unsplash - school girl students

St. Paul is closing 6 schools amid declining enrollment

The board revised the plan after the school communities voiced concerns.

Karl-Anthony Towns

X-rays negative after Karl-Anthony Towns takes scary fall

Towns crashed hard to the ground late in the game Wednesday night.

Minneapolis police

2 more homicides push Minneapolis closer to record set in 1995

The deadly shootings happened on the city's North Side Wednesday night.


Pixabay - police crime tape do not cross stock

Charges: Surveillance video shows man driving SUV into woman, bar patio

He then crashed into a restaurant patio before driving off, charges state.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

St. Cloud State student-athlete suspended from team following alleged assault

The incident reportedly took place off campus on Sep. 18.

Police lights

83-year-old artist hit in head with hammer in surprise attack

The assault sent the victim to the ICU, and a suspect now faces charges.

Matt Belanger

Man charged in light rail station attack on KSTP anchor Matt Belanger

The journalist suffered a serious wound to his left eye.

Luke Alvin Oeltjenbruns

Man who attacked Menards worker, hit police officer with hammer is charged

The incident started at a Menards in Hutchinson and continued with a slow-speed pursuit, ending when the officer being injured.