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Owner of Grand Forks construction company accused of punching man from behind

The owner of a Grand Forks construction company has been accused of punching a man outside of a Grand Forks bar.

A Class C felony of aggravated assault was filed Thursday, Feb. 8, in Grand Forks District Court against Patrick Wayne Novak, 38, according to court documents.

The documents accuse Novak of injuring Chris Koppang on Jan. 6 at the Bun Lounge. The two were inside the bar on Mill Road after a UND hockey game when Novak approached Koppang and "initiated a conversation," according to charging documents. Court documents don't detail the conversation in full, but Koppang reportedly said he didn't like Novak.

"Mr. Novak then made a comment to the affect that he would like to beat Koppang's face to a bloody pulp," the charging documents state.

Shortly after Koppang exited the building at 10:12 p.m., Novak allegedly stepped up from behind and punched the right side of Koppang's face, knocking the accuser to the ground, according to court documents.

"As Koppang is face down on the ground, Novak continued to punch Koppang until a bystander pulled Novak off of Koppang," police said in charging documents.

Koppang suffered facial bone fractures and required surgery, the charging documents state.

The two are "familiar with each other," police said.

Novak is listed on the North Dakota Secretary of State's website as the owner of Novak Construction.

The Herald was unable to reach Novak's attorney, whom Novak identified as Blake Hankey, for comment.

A Class C felony carries a maximum punishment of five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

Have a story idea? Contact Baumgarten at 701-780-1248.

(701) 780-1248
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