Charges: Man attacked friend, said fatal injuries were from slipping on ice

Prosecutors have charged a man in connection to a suspicious death last month in Minneapolis.

Ryan Patrick Lidberg, 37, from St. Paul, was formally charged Monday via warrant with first-degree manslaughter.

Court documents state that Minneapolis police were called to Abbott Northwestern Hospital shortly before 11 p.m. on Feb. 13 on a report of a 32-year-old man who had been hospitalized under suspicious circumstances a few days earlier and wasn’t going to survive. The victim died at the hospital a short time later.

Investigators determined that the victim had gone to a comedy show in downtown Minneapolis with a few friends on Feb. 10. Afterward, one of those friends, identified as Lidberg, was seen on surveillance video chasing the victim down an alley and attacking him. The video showed multiple instances of the victim trying to get up and away from Lidberg, only to be knocked to the ground again.

The last punch by Lidberg appeared to cause the victim’s head to snap back, court documents state, and Lidberg then got on his knees and punched the victim’s head area again. After that, the victim didn’t appear to move on his own again, a criminal complaint states.

Lidberg and another friend had told hospital staff and the victim’s family that he’d slipped on the ice and hit his head after a minor scuffle but wouldn’t say where in Minneapolis that happened. However, hospital staff determined that the victim’s injuries weren’t consistent with that story.

Surveillance video showed that, after the victim lay motionless for a few minutes, Lidberg called his girlfriend. She showed up nearly 25 minutes later, and Lidberg and the other friend loaded the victim into the vehicle.

Despite being six blocks from Hennepin County Medical Center, the complaint notes that Lidberg’s girlfriend took the victim to Abbott Northwestern, which was much farther away, meaning the victim was unconscious without medical attention for around 40 minutes by the time they got there.

After rolling the victim into the hospital in a wheelchair, court documents state that Lidberg was seen on video “grabbing his girlfriend by the collar, dragging her behind a column to hide from hospital staff, and pulling her close to his face to speak with her sternly.” They then drove away.

A medical examiner determined the victim, who hasn’t yet been publicly identified, died from a dissection of his carotid artery.

Because of the failure to seek timely medical attention, the complaint notes that prosecutors may seek an aggravated sentence against Lidberg if convicted.

Manslaughter carries up to 15 years in prison and a $30,000 fine with a conviction. Because he’s charged via warrant, Lidberg’s next court date hasn’t yet been set.