Family of St. Paul beating victim speaks out


The family of a St. Paul man severely beaten and robbed earlier this month is speaking up as the man continues to make small steps toward recovery, the Pioneer Press reports.

Ray Widstrand, 26, of St. Paul suffered "potentially fatal brain swelling" and "permanent and protracted loss of brain function," a criminal complaint says, after he after was was pulled into a fight as he was walking by the melee in the Payne-Phalen neighborhood Aug. 4.

According to the criminal complaint, Widstrand was walking near his apartment when he was hit in the head, kicked and stomped on.

Five people have been charged in connection with the incident, including some alleged gang members.

Ray Widstrand's father, Peter Widstrand, told the Pioneer Press that his son would want "positive things" to come out of what has happened instead of pity, and "would want all the people in the community to work for a safer, positive community, and not tear people apart, and say it's this race and not that race."

"I think people of all groups are shocked at the violence," Peter Widstrand.

Peter Widstrand says his son takes "some steps forward" every day, and every day he sees something, "whether it's in his eyes or something he does."

Earlier this week, Ray Widstrand's Caring Bridge page noted that he was breathing on his own for periods of time over the weekend.

Ray Winstrand still hasn't been able to speak with his family, and they admit they are worried how far his progress will go.

Peter Widstrand says they don't know when Ray Widstrand will "return to work or return home" and they might not know for years."

"Progress can stop tomorrow," he told the Pioneer Press. "It might not stop two years from now."

Peter Widstrand told the paper that he has his moments where he's "really angry at the perpetrators, but right now, we're trying to be helpful and focused on Ray getting better."

Next Up

police tape

Authorities ID man fatally struck by 'errant bullet' in Willmar

The man was working in his garage when he was fatally shot.


1 dead, 1 critically injured in head-on crash on Highway 169

The State Patrol says driving impaired may have been a factor in the crash.

Richard Pitino

Gophers game against Nebraska postponed due to COVID outbreak

The Cornhuskers have had 12 members of its team test positive for COVID-19.

Bob Kroll

What Minneapolis Police Lt. Bob Kroll said in Sunday radio interview

Kroll said that once he's retired he'll go "radio silent."

coronavirus, SARS-CoV-2, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID update for Sunday, January 17

The health department provides updates daily at 11 a.m.

Sen. Julia Coleman

'No one's business': State senator calls out attack on her pregnancy

Sen. Julia Coleman represents Minnesota's District 47.

Willmar Police Department

'Errant bullet' goes through garage wall, kills Willmar man

The man was working in his garage when he was shot, witnesses said.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 10.59.00 PM

Wild tie Kings with 2 seconds left, win in overtime

Another incredible finish for the Wild.

Screen Shot 2021-01-16 at 6.53.17 PM

Mike Lindell's MyPillow offering discounts using the code 'Qanon'

The Shakopee-based company is under the microscope because of the recent actions of its owner.

Surly Brewing

Facing aluminum can shortage, Surly unveils solution: 'Cantyhose'

The brewery came up with a creative way to repurpose unused cans.

Liam Robbins

Gophers stay perfect at home by crushing 7th-ranked Michigan

Liam Robbins and Marcus Carr were too much for the previously undefeated Wolverines.