Man charged with manslaughter for fatal head-butt


A Golden Valley man was charged with first-degree manslaughter for the death of a man at a Downtown Minneapolis bar, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Friday.

Erik Kravchuk, 28, is charged with one count of first-degree manslaughter for the death of 42-year-old Aleksandre Sambelashvili last month. When Kravchuk makes his first appearance, prosecutors will seek $500,000 in bail.

According to the complaint, on July 29, Minneapolis Police were sent to the Hennepin County Medical Center to investigate an assault. They spoke to an adult male, and friend of the victim, who witnessed the incident. The witness stated that the victim had been admitted to the hospital for a possible brain injury following the assault.

About 1:30 a.m. July 28, surveillance video showed Sambelashvili entering the bar and walking towards Kravchuk in a non-confrontational manner and there appears to be no conflict between the two, according to the complaint. However, when Sambelashvili gets close, Kravchuk violently head-butted him, apparently knocking Sambelashvili unconscious, causing him to fall backward and hit his head on the floor.

Additional surveillance video shows an identically dressed man with the same physical makeup as Kravchuk enter the bar July 27, and signing a credit card receipt early in the morning July 28. When Kravchuk was apprehended by police and shown the footage, he admitted to being the man entering the bar and signing the credit card receipt. When shown the “head-butting” video, Kravchuk did not admit to knowing the victim, or “head-butting” him in the video, according to the complaint.

Sambelashvili spent nearly a month in the hospital before succumbing to the brain injuries on August 23.

Criminal Complaint (PDF)