St. Cloud State Swimmer Viciously Assaulted, Suspect Arrested

A 20-year-old St. Cloud State University swimmer is preparing to undergo facial reconstructive surgery after he was viciously assaulted off-campus on Sept. 18.

Chad Waldrop, who was entering his junior year with the Huskies, was allegedly punched in the face repeatedly, even after he was unconscious, by an attacker who is suspected to be a fellow SCSU student-athlete.

According to Bring Me The News, Waldrop’s family says he heard a female screaming for help outside of his home around 1:30 am on Sept. 18. After going outside to see if everything was alright, the alleged attacked told Waldrep to mind his business.

On his way back inside, Waldrop’s family says he was attacked from behind and knocked unconscious when he hit his head on the sidewalk. Citing multiple eyewitnesses, the family says his attacker “proceeded to punch and beat him in the head and face.”

The injuries sustained by Waldrop include:

  • Broken nose in four places
  • Multiple facial fractures
  • Two black eyes
  • Superficial hemorrhaging in the eyes
  • Broken teeth
  • Multiple cuts
  • External and internal bruising of his face and head
  • Broken tooth punctured his mouth that required 30 stitches

The attacker and a woman who was at the scene allegedly “dragged Chad’s unconscious body around his home trying to find a place to hide him,” ultimately “breaking into his home through the unlocked back door” where they “left him for dead drowning in his own blood,” according to Bring Me The News.

The assault has reportedly ended Waldrop’s competitive swimming career, and he’s expected to miss his entire junior year of college.

According to a GoFundMe page that’s been setup to help cover medical expenses, a doctor told Waldrop’s family that “his face looks like a jigsaw puzzle.”

On September 28, the suspected attacker was arrested by the St. Cloud Police department.

20-year-old Ezayah Marcell Gomez Oropreza was arrested Tuesday evening on the suspicion of third-degree assault.

Oropreza is currently listed as a redshirt sophomore on the St. Cloud State wrestling team.

Waldrop, who is no longer listed on SCSU’s men’s swimming & diving roster, most recently competed at the 2021 Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (GLIAC) Championships in February 2021. At the 2020 GLIAC Championships, he earned a 15th-place finish in the men’s 100 breaststroke.

A native of Charleston, S.C., Waldrop previously attended West Ashley High School and competed for the City of Charleston Southern Marlins Racing in club swimming.

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Andy Hardt
2 months ago

This is a very sad story, amidst what seems like heroic behavior by the swimmer. I hope he has a full recovery.

Corn Pop
Reply to  Andy Hardt
2 months ago

I hope it was not for that woman though.

2 months ago

Sounds like his assailant is a class act abuser. Hope Chad makes a full recovery.

2 months ago

3rd degree assault?! How about attempted murder?

2 months ago

the alleged assailant is 240lbs, and in a recent wrestling season went 42 wins with no losses.

sue moss
Reply to  Nick
2 months ago

atemented murder

Still tragic but...
2 months ago

There are no results or roster information of him being on the team since his freshman year.

Last edited 2 months ago by Still tragic but...
James Bogen
2 months ago

Here is the 3rd degree assault statute- it’s a felony:

Since this is a felony case, it will go to the grand jury. At the grand jury the assault charge can be enhanced to something more serious, and charges can be added. From the facts described it looks like burglary and kidnapping are possible additional charges.

Scotty P
2 months ago

Lock that attacker up.

About James Sutherland

James Sutherland

James swam five years at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario, specializing in the 200 free, back and IM. He finished up his collegiate swimming career in 2018, graduating with a bachelor's degree in economics. In 2019 he completed his graduate degree in sports journalism. Prior to going to Laurentian, James swam …

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