St. Could police are holding a 17-year old male in connection with the death of a Greenfield man.
The suspect was taken into custody during the afternoon hours Monday, Sept. 24.
According to all accounts, Colton Gleason, 20, of Greenfield received a single blow delivered by an unknown assailant on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 20, in a St. Cloud alley that knocked him down on concrete, resulting in a fatal head injury.
He was reportedly walking down the alley, between 8th and 9th Avenues, with two female friends sometime after 11 p.m. when a car passed them, coming so close that Gleason tried to push his friends out of the way, making contact with the vehicle in this split second reaction.
The car stopped, and an assailant got out of it and lodged the punch that knocked Gleason to the ground. Resulting head trauma claimed his life Friday evening at approximately 9:15 p.m.
His parents, John and Julie Gleason of Greenfield, have been vocal in their quest for answers. They call this sudden tragedy heartbreaking and senseless. Before leaving them on Thursday, Colton enjoyed a long bike ride with his parents. The Gleasons asked that anyone who witnessed anything, or who any knowledge regarding the incident, contact the authorities immediately. St. Cloud police did use information provided the public to locate the suspect being held in custody.
Gleason, who graduated from Orono High School in 2010, was a stand out athlete who excelled in soccer and football and is described as having been easy going and personable. He was studying business at Minnesota State University-Mankato.
St. Cloud Police called the initial descriptions of the suspect vague and varied, making it difficult to release information about who they were looking for, but additional information was fed to police by the public, resulting in Monday’s apprehension of the underage male who’s name is not being releases at this time.
The unexpected violence has caught many in the college town by surprise. On Monday, Sept. 24, a letter to all St. Cloud University students went out including this except:
“The St. Cloud Police Department and St. Cloud State University are partnering to help identify persons involved in an incident last Thursday night that resulted in the death of 20-year-old Colton Gleason. The St. Cloud State University community is greatly saddened by Colton’s death and expresses sympathy to his family and friends.
“Although Colton was not a student at St. Cloud State and this incident did not happen on campus, we are concerned for the well-being and safety of the entire community.”
A memorial fund has also been set-up for the family of Colton Gleason. Donations can be made at all USBank location.