MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- "Tempers rise and fall inside, and Monday night was a tragedy for everybody involved," said Karen Frohwein, Executive Director of House of Compassion at 211 West Church Street. That tragedy that Frohwein is referring to happened around quarter till six o'clock Monday night, right in front of the House of Compassion; a soup kitchen.
Police say 23 year-old Wyatt Slinker assaulted 55 year-old David Lurvey. "It`s still under investigation. What we do know at this time is that there was some sort of verbal altercation between Mr. Lurvey and Mr. Slinker and ultimately a punch was thrown and Mr. Lurvey was injured, fell to the ground, suffered a critical head injury, and died about a day later," said Marshalltown Police Chief - Michael W. Tupper.
Frohwein is familiar with both men. "They`re part of our family here. We see the same people almost every evening for supper so, they both are people that came here regularly." Frohwein says the altercation was over a twenty dollar debt. "The victim had loaned $20 to someone, to the man who committed the assault, so that he could get food for his cat and dog. Yeah, they needed pet food."
Frohwein says this is a first for the soup kitchen. "We deal with people here that have serious issues, mental health issues, drug and alcohol issues. I don`t want to say that we`re lucky that this has never happened before, but these are the people we deal with. These are the people we serve in this community. These are the people that are on the fringes."
Chief Tupper says it shows you how quickly fights can turn deadly. "You have to think twice about the type of altercations you`re getting into and how easily somebody can become injured and punches get thrown and sometimes you lose control of what`s gonna happen."
Slinker was originally charged with assault causing serious injury and taken to the Marshall County Jail, where he is still being held. Chief Tupper says the Marshalltown Police Department is working with the Marshall County Attorney`s Office and he's anticipates that some additional charges will be filed in the next few days.