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Know when to walk away? Dispute over 7th-place poker finish spurs assault charge

HILLSBORO, N.D. - A 49-year-old Hillsboro man faces an aggravated assault charge after an argument about his seventh-place finish in a poker tournament turned violent.

William Mooney is accused of attacking 42-year-old Dale Czapiewski, also of Hillsboro, with a steel baseball bat outside of the Hillsboro Sports Bar before fleeing the scene.

According to Traill County court documents:

Mooney and an intoxicated Czapiewski were playing blackjack at the Sports Bar on the night of Dec. 16. Mooney told the dealer, whom he knew personally, that he had placed seventh at a recent Texas Hold 'em tournament.

Czapiewski then asked Mooney if the seventh-place finish was anything to brag about, a witness stated. Mooney said it wasn't, and that he was simply talking to the dealer. Czapiewski again said Mooney was bragging.

The witness told police Mooney then asked Czapiewski, "So tell me, what place did you take in the last Hold 'em tournament you were in?"

Czapiewski then started talking to Mooney about "taking it outside," the witness said. And they did. Documents state they scuffled for a few minutes before bar patrons broke it up.

After several minutes, Mooney returned with a steel baseball bat, a separate witness told police. Mooney allegedly struck Czapiewski several times, knocking him to the ground, before driving away.

Documents indicate Czapiewski was not seriously injured in the attack, but had noticeable bruising on his back and his elbow.

The felony assault charge against Mooney was filed on Thursday.