Casey Thierrault, Eric Freeman, and Ryan Simonsen
Grand Rapids, MI – Testosterone overload is never a pretty thing, but it got really ugly on the night of January 10. John “Jono” Krystiniak, 21, got pummeled in a six-on-one bar fight that left Krystiniak fatally injured and three former high school jocks in a position to learn what the words “prison bitch” really mean. Krystiniak was pronounced dead on January 23 after life support measures were withdrawn.
Casey Therriault, Eric Freeman and Ryan Simonson are charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter. Two other suspects, Javier Santiago-Lopez and Milton Billibaldo Lopez , are in custody awaiting arraignment. Luis Alfredo Gaston, the sixth beatdown artist, has not yet been arrested. All the suspects are either 18 or 19 years old, and at least three of them are former Wyoming Park High School jocks who graduated in 2007.
Casey Richard Therriault, 18, of Wyoming, was a football star for Wyoming Park who even had an article written in 2006 praising his moral fiber. Last semester he was a back-up quarterback for the College of the Sequoias, a community college in Visalia, California. Ryan James Simonson, 18, of Jenison, was a two-time state wrestling meet qualifier for Wyoming Park. And Eric Tyler Freeman, 19, of Wyoming, was a former fullback and linebacker at the school. All that Wyoming Park athletic training apparently didn’t come with How To Rein In Your Aggro lessons.
Krystiniak, 21, was also at football player and wrestler in high school and an honorable mention all-conference football player at Ottawa University in Kansas. Which is probably why it took six other guys to beat him down – he wasn’t gonna go in a one on one fight. Six to nine people attacked Krystiniak after he left the Margarita Grill on January 10. Police said the victim and others had an “exchange” inside the bar.
“It’s not like they knew each other,” Police Lt . Paul Warwick said. “There was an exchange between our victim and the others. Some of them met back up outside … and our victim was knocked to the ground.”
Some family members essentially called Krystiniak’s death horseplay that got out of hand. “They’re good kids, as I’m sure the other (suspects) are too,” said Harland Hampton, the step-father of Eric Freeman. “When teenagers get riled up they do silly things, and it’s unfortunate that something like this happened. But it has happened and they have to deal with it.”
The jocks’ families say that their three boys were good boys who didn’t know the three guys who have yet to be charged. Which is why two random groups from the same high school decided to pound on the same guy on the same night, I’ve no doubt.
Here are the other two
Milton Lopez and Javier Santiago-DeJesus
Javier Santiago-DeJesus and Milton Billibaldo Lopez were arraigned on second-degree murder and manslaughter charges related to the January 10 beating outside the Margarita Grille that eventually took the life of Krystiniak.
One other suspect, Luis Alfredo Gaston, has yet to be officially charged.