Firefighter killed in Forada assault tried to escort attacker from bar over marijuana pipe use

Steven 'Beaver' Hlinsky died eight days after the assault.
Publish date:

Two men have been charged with a brutal assault on Forada volunteer firefighter Steven "Beaver" Hlinsky, who collapsed and died eight days after it happened.

Troy Nathan Traut, 33, of Alexandria, and Jacob Elmo Larson, 33, of Kensington, were charged with one count of 1st degree manslaughter and two counts of 5th degree assault, the Douglas County Sheriff's Office confirmed Friday.

According to the criminal complaint, video from inside the Muddy Boot Bar and Grill in Forado shows both men were at a table with two others in the early hours of Saturday, May 5.

Traut appeared on several occasions to approach Hlinsky, 46, of rural Alexandria, in an "agitated or aggressive" manner, at one point grabbing a beer bottle in front of Hlinsky and throwing it against the wall, as well as flipping a cup in front of him.

During these incidents, Hlinsky "remains calm, stays seated and does not react."

Today's Top Stories

– Explosion of aggressive gnats is causing misery across southern Twin Cities.

– Brit's Pub was packed with Royal Wedding fans.

– Sign up for our daily newsletters.

It was when Larson approached later smoking a marijuana pipe, blowing the smoke into Hlinsky's face, that he took action, appearing to escort Larson out of the bar while talking with the bartender.

As the bar door opened however, Traut – who was smoking a cigarette outside – pulled Hlinsky's arms outside and put him in a headlock.

The assault, which wasn't captured on video, then took place outside, with Hlinsky sustaining horrific injuries that included a fractured eye socket, a torn retina, bleeding around the brain and possible internal injuries.

He died on Sunday, May 13, two days after he was released from St. Cloud Hospital.

When interviewed by police, Traut said he'd had an argument with Hlinsky over a romantic relationship in which he believed Hlinsky was involved.

He claims that as he came back into the bar later after having his cigarette, he saw Hlinsky fighting with Larson.

Next Up