Nathan Engle's parents say he was sucker punched while standing at a food cart this weekend, causing him to whack his head on the pavement and die. The Larimer County coroner has ruled the death a homicide, and Terance Wilson remains in jail after his arrest following the incident. But Wilson insists that he didn't kill Engle -- even though he's got a broken hand.
According to reports, Engle, the 24-year-old father of three kids five and under, was out on the town with friends -- and after emerging from a popular Fort Collins venue called the Drunken Monkey, the group stopped at a food cart. Engle's dad says his son was taking a bite of a sandwich when someone slugged him in the back of the head, causing him to immediately lose consciousness and fall backward onto the sidewalk. He was still alive when emergency personnel arrived, but he didn't survive long, succumbing to what the Larimer County coroner's office describes as cerebral edema and intracranial hemorrhage due to blunt-force head injury.
Engle's buddies reportedly grabbed Wilson immediately after the fatal blow and held him until cops arrived. He was soon booked on suspicion of second-degree assault. However, he has yet to be charged with a more serious crime, and he professed his innocence in a 9News interview. Wilson insists that he was leaving a club when he got caught up in the melee.
"The group of people this dude was running with were the instigators of everything, so I have no idea what happened," he says. He maintains that he was serving as the designated driver for four folks at a bar when the incident took place, adding, "I don't know who Nathan is. I don't know who Nathan's group is. All I know is there (were) three altercations that evening."
What about that broken hand? Wilson won't say how he injured it. Meanwhile, there are reports that he and Engle did know each other, way back in middle school. And as pointed out by the Fort Collins Coloradoan, neither boast clean police records. Engle wound up with an assault charge in 2008, and Wilson's been charged with assault five time, parole violations three times, resisting arrest two times, and kidnapping and escape once apiece since 2003.
Look below for the latest 9News report, followed by our previous coverage, which includes a full-size mug shot of Wilson.
Original item, 9:17 a.m. June 8: When does a punch become a homicide? According to the Larimer County coroner, the death of Nathan Engle, a 24-year-old father of three young children, offers a perfect example.
Terance Wilson, also 24, was initially arrested for assault. But following Engle's death and the coroner's ruling, that charge will presumably change, and soon.
The Fort Collins Coloradoan reports that Engle and some buddies had been enjoying a night out in Old Town. Around 1:40 a.m. Saturday, shortly after leaving a popular nightspot called the Drunken Monkey, they headed to a mobile gyro stand. At that point, witnesses claim that another group approached, with one man punching Engle in the back of the head.
The blow was apparently so fierce that Engle immediately lost consciousness. He fell backward, hitting his head on the pavement.
Members of Engle's party promptly grabbed the alleged striker, Wilson, and held him until police arrived. Engle was transported to an area hospital, while Wilson was booked on suspicion of second-degree assault. However, Engle died later that day, prompting the autopsy that resulted in the homicide determination.
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Engle was a great dad, his folks told 9News. His kids are five, three and two.
Below, find a larger look at Wilson's mug shot, as well as an interactive graphic near the scene of the incident. If you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map."
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