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Duluth man accused of gouging drinking buddy's eye

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news Willmar, 56201
Willmar Minnesota 2208 Trott Ave. SW / P.O. Box 839 56201

A Duluth man accused of ripping out part of another man's eye during an alcohol-fueled fight made his initial appearance in Douglas County Circuit Court in Superior, Wis., this week.

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Joseph Thomas Saari, 28, faces felony charges of mayhem and substantial battery for the Saturday incident.

According to the criminal complaint, Saari, his girlfriend and her brother were drinking together in a Superior home. Saari and his girlfriend got into an argument about some clothing and he became angry. Saari swore at the two and pushed his girlfriend. When her brother grabbed Saari, Saari pushed him to the floor and they started to fight.

The complaint states that Saari overpowered the other man by using two fingers from his left hand in an attempt to gouge out the man's left eye while punching him in the head with his right hand.

When Superior Police Officer Paul Winterscheidt spoke with the victim at St. Luke's hospital, the attending emergency room physician said the victim's eyeball was ripped apart and completely open. He told Winterscheidt the victim probably would lose his left eye.

Court Commissioner Paul Baxter ordered $10,000 cash bail and an additional $1,000 cash bail on a separate case in which Saari faces two misdemeanor charges of endangering safety with the use of a dangerous weapon. A preliminary hearing was set for Oct. 15.

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